Journal Entry 8
It has been a long day. Matt and Jonas have still not returned with Runt. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Runt is doing fine and that the Central Bobcats didn’t catch him. Tony was his best friend, is his best friend. Speaking of Tony, he is still recovering. We are still taking turns looking after him. He is not taking in many fluids but his color is improving slightly. We held elections today for Sheriff. Sheriff Pete will take over as the man in charge of security. He has started looking for people to fill the deputy sheriff positions. I need to put a Thank you in the Bear News for everyone that helped in the middle of the night. I suppose I could give you some good news. Casey finally delivered her baby. Her labor lasted for days. She was in labor, then she wasn’t, she was in labor then she wasn’t. I felt bad for her because she was in constant pain. Everything turned out fine in the end. Mom and baby are doing well. As soon as Casey is up to it, we are going to have a naming ceremony. The ceremony usually occurs about two weeks after the baby’s birth that will put it around the end of the month.
Journal Entry 7
Tony is getting worse and Runt is missing. I couldn’t find him anywhere this morning. He didn’t show for breakfast. His bike is also missing. He is too little to be out in the city alone. It would be disastrous if the Central Bobcats caught him. Lisa took over sitting with Tony after Runt. She said he was obviously upset and mentioned something about finding medicine to help. If I thought medicine was available, I would have been the first person to go and find some.
Unfortunately, finding medicine for even the common cold is just not possible. Survivors emptied out the pharmacies long ago. You can occasionally come across something to barter but there is no guarantee that what you are bartering for is actually in the bottle. The only time medicine appears on the market is when some desperate soul is trying to save a dying loved one. People have sold their souls for medicine and it turn out to be nothing at all. Some awful concoction someone has put together. Matt and Jonas volunteered to go and look for Runt. I would have gone but I have things that need my attention here.
Journal Entry 6
We moved Tony from the basement up to the admin hallway. He 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 but we are insisting that he drink water. People die from dehydration. Marty, Gretchen and Cecilia have headed out to the main library to do some research on Tony’s condition. With any luck, they will come back with some answers on what we should do to help him. In the mean time, the kids are taking turns sitting with Tony and trying to keep him comfortable.
Journal Entry 5
I went to the market plaza today to see if I could find a pair of new shoes (old shoes). The ones I have are coming apart at the seams. My feet wouldn’t fit into any of the shoes. I guess I will wear these a little longer. While I was shopping I over heard some people discussing the Central Bobcats. They are causing trouble all over town. I am not usually afraid of anything but the Hulk seriously worries me. He is so evil. People say he is that way because his father was always beating on him, especially if he lost a tournament. I don’t know if this is true or if it is just a rumor kids spread around to explain his meanness. I do know that he never seems to have remorse about his actions. He actually enjoys hurting people.
Journal Entry 4
I dreamt about being home again last night. I swear I could almost feel and smell the clean sheets. It felt like a weekend. One of those mornings, when you had a great night’s sleep. A familiar smell wakes you. My mom was in the kitchen making her famous biscuits. I miss those biscuits. I miss the strawberry jam. I don’t know what woke me from my dream but it was a let down when I realized it wasn’t real.
Journal Entry 3
I take back the “I’m bored” thing. Bear Country held a meeting to discuss what to do about our missing fuel. The consensus was nothing. Asking for the fuel back wasn’t an option, taking the fuel back wasn’t an option, although two people who shall remain nameless thought we should storm Central and take it back. Can you say Matt and Jonas? We voted this down because of the possibility of casualties, on our side. We decided to put in place a security team during the night hours. Everyone over the age of 12 would be required to keep watch at two-hour intervals. Our resources are few and we don’t need to be loosing anything else. We have strength in numbers and we can protect ourselves when necessary.
At the meeting, we also discussed the up and coming festival. Like last year, we plan to have a feast, music and games. The Journal Club will be putting up fliers to announce the event to the community. We invited everyone but Central. With luck, they won’t grace us with their presence at this year’s event.
Journal Entry 2
There’s trouble in Bear Country.
The Runt 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 were everywhere and no one was in a very joyful mood.
Runt tried to squirm out of my hold.
“Tony …Tony’s hurt. They beat him up.”
Tony 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 sociable these days but he is very good at fixing and maintaining whatever we break.
I ordered the Runt to stay put in the admin hallway and grabbed some muscle. When I say muscle, I am referring to Matt and Jonas. We walked 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 attempted 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 are from the east end of Lafayette Blvd we live on the West. We were rivals in football, basketball and volleyball. Our bands competed against each other in competitions before the world thru itself into chaos. 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 champion. He is mean, 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 Goons from taking what they wanted. Just then, Runt ran up behind me holding a first aid kit. The Runt is such a tiny little person. I yelled at him for leaving the admin hallway. He gets into more trouble.
Runt 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 boys but they get hot under the collar fast and don’t always think things thru…
We have some big people in Bear Country but we are not a match for the goons at Central.
Journal Entry 1
Finally found a new journal to write in. I found it at the plaza. I paid a hefty price. Nevertheless, I desperately needed something to let me vent and chronicles my thoughts. You would think that a person living inside a school building would have access to paper. Except for the stash, the journal club keeps under lock and key, the only paper in this school is the student records. This paper 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. Everyone is off doing his or her own thing. I was hoping that 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 the three of them 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. In addition, they added insult by locking 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.
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.
The local authorities told us 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. Almost instantly, the news reported 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 badly. 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 lay 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.
Parents died leaving their children to survive on their own. Death preyed on the smallest survivors. Babies died in their cribs. Toddlers starved to death because they couldn’t get out of their homes. The older children began to band together and form gangs. The Bear Gang formed when a dozen children 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.