Wednesday, June 13, 2007

They're here.

The good thing about living in Florida is that half of the year is devoted to maintaining supplies in case of a hurricane. Plenty of water, hand crank radio, canned goods, lanterns and flashlights and anything else you may need when trapped in your house without electricity for a long period of time.

Well, so much for hurricanes.

I heard the reports along with most everyone else yesterday afternoon on the way home from work. I'm guessing most people took awhile to assimilate the information as the grocery stores hadn't hit critical mass when I stopped by to stock up on extras. I got home and found Mrs. Mosley had beat me there and was watching the television, transfixed. Yeah, satellite imagery of zombie attacks all across the globe will do that to you.

Once I got to working on the house, she shook out of her daze and asked what she should be doing. Man, she can be a cool customer in times of crisis. I told her to fill the bathtub and as many buckets as possible with fresh water. I made myself busy boarding up windows with whatever scraps of wood were in the laundry room.

In the midst of all this, there was one vital thing I forgot: weapons. I'm not a gun person and have never even fired a firearm before. Would that doom us all? Not necessarily, I thought. I immediately thought of the machete I bought for chopping down those thick vines in the yard. If it isn't too rusty, then it could be an invaluable tool.

I opened the front door and looked around. Everything was still. We're in a secluded pocket of a neighborhood, so this wasn't very surprising. I ducked back in to the house and grabbed the baseball bat just in case. Mrs. Mosley protested, but I assured her the coast was clear and it was probably still too early to be encountering anything yet. I kissed her and exited the house, closing the door behind me.

In the backyard, I unlocked the doors to the massive shed that was built by the previous owner. It was packed with all sorts of crap, and I desperately scanned around the dark corners for anything useful. I spotted the machete immediately next to the door. There was some rust on the blade but it still seemed in good shape. Everything else (lawn furniture, stepping stones, a lawnmower I barely used) didn't seem very helpful. The blade off the Lawnboy could be fashioned into a second machete, but it was probably dull as...


And suddenly, I was glad I hadn't kept my yard clear of leaves and twigs. I turned to see the shambling form of a teenager about twelve feet in front of me and closing. I recognized him as this kid down the street who had this tiny scooter he rode around on. Every now and then, he would buzz by the house like some steroid-popping bumble bee. That scooter was annoying, to be sure, but I couldn't summon up enough bile from this alone to justify what I was about to do.

I realized I was carrying the machete in one hand and the bat in the other. Decisions, decisions. I quickly decided on the bat since this opportunity allowed me room to swing and the machete wasn't sharp enough yet. I never played baseball in my life. The bat was just a remnant of college days when a roommate moved out and left a bunch of his stuff for the rest of us to divide. I was felling oh so better for not having chosen the lava lamp.

He was getting close now and I had to act. I grabbed the bat tight with both hands, swung back ... and thwack!

Son of a bitch if that head didn't come clean off. The body followed the head to the ground and I stood looking down at it with the bat resting against my right leg. I didn't feel the urge to vomit upon my first killing, but then again it wasn't exactly murder, was it? I tore my gaze away and took one more look through the shed. I happened to look up and see that, in the rafters, was a lot more wood as well as a couple of old doors. And they looked like old solid ones to boot.

As quickly as I could, I grabbed some long-handled garden tools (better take those with me, too) and used them to slide them off the rafters and crashing onto the ground. I dragged the lot back to the house and was relieved that none of the teenager's friends had come by as well. After one more trip to the shed to grab some odds and ends, I went back into the house and locked it up tight. The sun was about to set.

We're dug in, now. Miraculously, the electric is still on and the DSL is operating just fine. No clue as to how long that will last. This old cinder block house could last for awhile, especially if the two of us keep quiet and don't attract any more visitors. We'll be glued to the computer and, eventually, the radio.

Stay safe, folks.

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