Note from the Librarian: We’re getting a lot of letters and stories on our board now. It’s heartening that we’ll have a relatively complete historical record of our struggles and triumphs.
The following came in a short while ago from the MacMurray Enclave. Don’t let Roger fool you. He’s the glue that holds that group together. He’ll take damn near anyone in, and make sure they’re right in the world before sending them off onto brighter things.
I’ve been reading the notes that people are leaving on the library bulletin board. Some of them are mighty sad. Some of them are funny. Mostly, they show the indomitable spirit of the people in this county. If none of us make it, though, I want there to be a record of our group’s humanity. The stories that make surviving worth it.
I’ve tried capturing the spirit of our adopted family, and I apologize to my friends if they’re embarrassed by their antics. Well, no, I’m not sorry. You silly gits, if you didn’t want the world to know – you shouldn’t have done it.
Keith O’Sullivan – Keith is a generous man. He’d give you the shirt off his back if you needed it – even if there wasn’t one to spare. But, he’s twitchy as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs and startles easily. I suppose if I’d gotten cornered in an alleyway by a Feral, I would be a little twitchy too. Nobody was more surprised than Keith that he’d survived the attack. As it turns out, having two left feet will sometimes save your life.
See, Keith had been relieving himself out behind what used to be his brother’s bar when he heard the growl. Keith, well, he just started running; not thinking about the fact that his pants were still undone, and dropping off his butt before he got three steps away.
You’re seeing where I’m going with this, right? Of course, he tripped once his pants reached his knees. Got a bad scrape, but that’s all he got. The Feral went flying over his head and smashed head first into the brick wall behind Keith; bashing its own brains in.
The incident left a different kind of scar, though. Three nights ago, Kevin passed out exhausted after working on our new greenhouse. An hour into his repose, he let out a particularly loud fart, which startled him so badly that he screamed, fell out of his bed, and scuttled under the frame. It was a good twenty minutes before Randa convinced him that he’d passed gas.
I shouldn’t have, but I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard.
Randa Tanner – Don’t ever let Randa Tanner cook for you. You’ll regret it. She’s pretty as a peach and smart as a whip. She’s from the Mount Tanner, Tanners, and they sent her to a good school. She came back home with a Law degree and a mean right hook. Randa is like Rambo in a girl’s body. I don’t know how she learned how to fight like a dervish, but there are rumors that she was an MMA fighter in college. Old man Tanner would have had a heart attack at that, so it was all hush-hush. But yeah, don’t piss her off. She can and will kick your ass.
But that girl can’t cook for shit. She warned us right off the bat when she moved in that she wasn’t going to be our surrogate homemaker. We promptly enlightened her to our way of life. We all divided the household chores equally. If she wanted to stay, she’d fall in or fall out.
Well, she showed us. When her night to cook came up, Randa made what she called a goulash. I think she’d forgotten to drain the pasta. Maybe she used some bad meat? I don’t know what that girl did, but the rest of us spent the next two days fighting over the latrine.
We never asked her to cook again. She still tries, because Randa hates being bad at anything. Her and Keith have traded jobs. He cooks, and she now does his supply runs.
Martin Franklin – Don’t tell anyone, but Martin Franklin is an incurable romantic. The problem is that he can’t talk to women. He sees one, clams up, and turns the ugliest shade of red you’ve ever seen. However, he’s also the bravest mother-effer that I’ve ever met in my life. The two traits are often at odds with each other.
I shouldn’t out him like this, but Martin is really sweet on Siohbhan. He can’t or won’t tell her. Just last week we were walking the perimeter, checking out traps, when he saw her doing yoga in the garden. The man walked smack into a wall. Gave himself the biggest black eye. I guess the benefit to that was that Siobhan fussed over him for two days.
The rest of us snickered over it. I told him after that he needed to pull up his britches and just let the girl know that he was crazy about her. He’s taken on three screamers and a juggernaut since that incident. Still hasn’t told her that he loves her. Sorry, Martin, she’s gonna know now if she didn’t already. It’s plain as the nose on your face.
Siobhan Fraser – Siobhan is our resident hippy in Trumbull Valley. Thankfully she ran out of the patchouli oil perfume a month and a half ago. My sinuses have never been so grateful. Siobhan is also the reason we have fresh vegetables when other people are still scrounging for canned food.
You’d never guess to look at her, but Siobhan wrestles with her generous heart and her alter ego the business magnate. We had another enclave come raiding our garden, and while our group was busy beating them off, Siobhan was coming up with a plan to get us the supplies we needed while offloading any extra produce.
A broken arm, a concussion, and a broken nose later (Martin snores like a buzzsaw now, much to our chagrin – we should have charged those bastards more) she came up with a fair barter system. Tomatoes are easy to grow, but in the highest demand, so she trades them for ammunition and scrap metal. We use the ammunition to protect ourselves. She uses the scrap metal for her sculptures. She says, “What’s the point of living if we don’t have beauty in the world?”
I don’t know art from scrap metal. I just hope that we don’t have to melt it down to slag for more ammo. The art keeps her happy, and our garden flourishes. Side Note: If you have to wheel and deal with Siobhan, bring your A game. She’ll rob you blind with an innocent smile on her face.
Roger MacMurray (me) – It’s hard to talk about myself. I don’t consider anything I do to be particularly funny or good. I suppose I define myself by the friends I have. If that’s the case, I’m pretty great. The house was mine, well mine and George’s (God rest him). So I just provide the roof. The rest of them, well they make us a family.