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TSHTF
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Thread: TSHTF

  1. #1
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    TSHTF

    This is the first chapter of a book I wrote. I'd like to know if anyone likes the story and would like me to continue posting it and any constructive criticism is welcome.

    The story as indicated by the title is about a bad scenario happening just as many of us doomers have talked about. It also gets involved with the prepping ideals and dealing with the DGIs.
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, America’s Second President

  2. #2
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    TSHTF


    He lined up his shot, looking through his Millett Tactical Long Range scope. His breath visible in the sub-freezing weather coming out in little flumes as he alternately held his breath and exhaled. The crosshairs lined up perfectly with the left shoulder. He watched as the magnificent buck raised his head, looked around and then lowered it, expelling smoke from its mouth as well.
    “Take the shot.” Ralph whispered.
    Doug twisted his head popping his neck with an audible crack. He settled back in ensuring the crosshairs were still lined up. He gently applied pressure to the trigger of his Remmington Model 700 CDL Bolt Action 30-06. The Rifle had been the only thing he inherited from his dad. Well, the rifle and the Whitetail Skinner Knife.
    “What are you waiting for?”
    Doug looked over at his future father-in-law. “I can’t do it.”
    “Why not? You can easily make a 100 yard shot, you outshot me at the range last week.”
    “If I couldn’t buy meat at the grocery store, if I had to for survival, I could do it. If it made the difference between putting food on the table and starving, I could easily take it down.”
    Doug looked back through the scope showing the eight pointer. “Isn’t it magnificent?”
    Doug startled when the shot rang out from beside him and the trophy buck crumbled to the ground.
    “We are putting food on the table.” Ralph said gruffly.
    They walked over to the animal carrying their rifles. Their feet made crunching noises in the sparse snowfall on the ground. The snow, normal for this time of year just north of Albuquerque was starting to melt. The buck lay in a heap, no more vapors coming out of its mouth but steam rising from the rapidly cooling body.
    “How are you going to protect my daughter if you can’t provide for her?” Ralph asked.
    “I am providing for her, I work full time for you so you know that as well as I do.” Doug said.
    “Working as a manager in my sporting goods store is not the same as being able to provide when the infrastructure goes away.”
    Doug rolled his eyes. He knew what was coming. Ralph believed that America and the rest of the world would soon reach a tipping point that would cause chaos and anarchy and you had to prepare for it.
    Instead of the lecture they reached the fallen buck.
    “Bout 300 pounds I reckon.” Ralph said.
    Doug looked at the big round black eyes and inwardly thought “I’m sorry big fella.”
    “Go ahead and field dress him.” Ralph said.
    As much as Doug didn’t want to kill the animal, in fact, had a thing about killing one of GODs creatures in general, he also didn’t want to disappoint Ralph. Ralph showed him how to field dress a deer the last time they went out and this was supposed to be his deer, his trophy. He slid the Whitetail Skinner Knife from its scabbard and bent down to the deer. He saw Ralphs’ shadow in the early morning sun crossing over him and the buck. He inserted the knife at the bottom of the sternum and made the initial incision keeping the blade positioned toward the hide so he wouldn’t cut through the organs. He inserted his fingers in a “V” like Ralph showed him the weekend before and gently pulled up on the hide. He continued the cut going around both sides of the udder and cut the penis and testicles out. “Sucks to be you.” Doug thought, then amended with “Sucks to be me.” He finished rolling the internal organs out of the abdominal cavity and cleaning the cavity out.
    They hung the deer from a tree branch with the head down and the tail up to drain the carcass and cool down the meat.
    They went to get the ATV for transporting the buck mostly in silence. Doug was sure Ralph was disappointed in him, at least for not shooting, even though he complimented him on the field dressing.
    They loaded up the buck in the trailer and started the long trip from New Mexico to Clay’s Processing and Smoke House in Dublin Texas. Even though they lived in Paradise Texas, Ralph swore by the processor and agreed with their motto “The Best Deer Processor in Texas”.
    “Why are we going to Dublin again, isn’t there a processor closer to Paradise?” Doug asked.
    “Clay’s is the best. Besides, that is where my father always processed his deer.”
    “Okay.” Doug said feeling a little nervous about extending the time spent in Ralph’s blue Ford F250. He feared a lecture was coming and he didn’t have to wait very long. They left the lease in Rio Honda and traveled south through Albuquerque to Interstate 40.
    Heading East Ralph grunted a compliment. “Good job on the dressing.”
    “Thanks.” Doug said wincing at the thought of the almost 600 miles to Dublin and the almost 100 miles to Paradise.
    “You know..” Ralph started. “You need to make your first kill.”
    “Why Ralph? I can buy food from Marin’s” Marin’s Most Extraordinary Market as they advertised was an independent grocery store in Paradise.
    “You can’t get Venison there.”
    “Yeah, well, I’ve got you for that, don’t I?”
    Ralph chuckled “I guess so.”
    Doug rubbed his chin and finally said “Why do you think we will be in a position where we would have to hunt our own food?”
    “I’m not saying anything is going to happen. I’m just sayin’ it could. Have you ever hear of playing the ‘What if’ game?”
    “Okay, let’s play Ralph. What could happen?”
    Ralph nodded. “There are lots of things that could happen. There could be an attack from Russia or China sparking a nuclear confrontation leading to World War III. There could be an asteroid collide with the world, hell, one could hit my ranch in Paradise.”
    “We’ve had the threat of a cold war for decades and nothing has happened.”
    “Yes, but we are not evaluating the chances, we are just playing the ‘What If’ game. It could happen.”
    “Not likely but I guess it could.”
    “If it did, pretty much all infrastructure would be wiped out and at least for a period of time, people would be on their own.”
    “But you are living in fear, that’s not a way to live your life and if that happened you probably wouldn’t want to be around anyway.”
    Ralph looked over sharply. “But let’s say an ELE happens and you are one of the ones to survive, along with your loved ones, like my daughter.”
    “What is an ELE?” Doug asked.
    “Extinction Level Event. This means a global event that could potentially wipe out everything living on earth or it could mean wiping out everything in a given region. For example a super volcano could erupt causing the sun to be blocked making everything die within a short period of time. A CME could be severe enough to disrupt communications and possibly all things electric throwing mankind back to the 19th century.”
    “A CME?”
    “Coronal mass ejection.”
    Doug looked confused.
    “A magnetic pulse from the sun where the force pushes the magnetic field of the Earth aside.”
    Doug said “I thought those happened everyday.”
    “They do, just as volcanos do, but super volcanoes don’t erupt daily just as the most powerful class of CMEs don’t go off daily. There was a solar superstorm in 1859 which came to be known as the Carrington Event. This was the most powerful solar storm ever recorded and the largest flare. You can imagine, 1859 was technologically primitive but telegraph systems all over Europe and North America failed, in some cases even shocking telegraph operators. Telegraph terminals sparked and telegraph paper spontaneously caught fire in some cases. Now fast forward, what do you think would happen if it went off today.”
    “Uh, telegraph paper would catch fire but it wouldn’t be a big deal since we don’t use telegraphs anymore?”
    “No, smartass, it would fry almost all electronics everywhere. Think of living like the Amish.”
    “All electronics?”
    “Unless they were EMP protected like with a Faraday cage.”
    “Jeez, what is with all the acronyms, what the heck is EMP and what is a Farawhatever cage?”
    “EMP or Electromagnetic Pulse. The Faraday cage has to have all metal sides connected to each other without any large gaps with the components inside not touching the sides.”
    “Good grief Ralph, how do you even know all this stuff and more importantly why?”
    “Oh there is a lot more we could ‘What If’ about.”
    “I’m not sure I want to know anymore. Like 1001 ways to kill somebody. Wouldn’t the first ten or twenty do?”
    They were silent for the next half hour.
    Ralph finally spoke. “EMP’s are just from the sun, like the Carrington Event. They could be manmade and used by a foreign country to devastate a region or potentially the entire United States.”
    “Who would do that Ralph?”
    “North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, and any of a host of other countries that hate the good ole USA.”
    “Okay, Russia and China I see might have the ability but those others? How could they deliver such a blow, their missiles won’t even reach the continental US?”
    “They wouldn’t have to, they could detonate a relatively small device say on Wall Street and render most of New York electronically impotent. Look at what they did on a small scale on 9-11.”
    “You call 9-11 a small scale?”
    “Comparatively, yes.”
    “Okay, so this EMP thing goes off and we are living like the Amish, would that be so bad, they seem pretty idyllic, living off the land in peace and harmony and singing Kumbaya?”
    “You know that grocery stores on the average only have three days of food right?”
    Doug hesitated then answered “Um, yeah.”
    “What happens when those three days runs out? Have you ever seen an area about to be dealt a blow by mother nature, a hurricane coming, a severe snowstorm, a flood, an electricity outage? People swarm the stores like locusts. They buy more than they need because of the fear of not being able to get those goods when they really need them. They hoard. When the food and goods run out and people need them what do you think they will do?”
    “Wait for the government to restore the infrastructure and the supplies resume? Maybe they borrow from neighbors, friends and family until the emergency is over.”
    “What if the government is so overwhelmed it can’t do anything, especially say in a small town like Paradise Texas? What then?”
    “People can hunt like we just did.”
    “Really? You think people that have never been hunting can just locate a weapon, cleanly shoot a deer, field dress it, process it and go on about their lives. Hell, you couldn’t even shoot one when you had it lined up in your sights.”
    “I could have, I just didn’t want to.”
    They stopped for gas in Amarillo and ate at IHOP. The tarp covering the buck blew open a bit much to the chagrin of the family getting into a car next to where they parked. Their son who looked to be about ten pointed and said “Look, they killed Bambi.” After eating in silence they proceeded on Interstate 287.
    Ralph broke the serenity again. “What do you think happens after the food runs out?”
    “People get hungry?”
    “Again with the wisecracks. Some will have some extra provisions, many will not. You will have friends, relatives, and strangers coming to your door all asking for a handout because they didn’t prepare.”
    “So you give them a cup of Top Ramien noodles and send them on their way?”
    “No, you turn them away. It’s cold and hard but you have to do it.”
    “I don’t think I could.”
    “There was a study done a while back, I don’t remember who did it but the gest of it studied a family of four that played the ‘What If’ game and had stashed a source of food enough for all four for one year. They analyzed the amount of food and the average neighborhood and determined that the family with the food turned away everyone they could survive for a year, if they shared with their immediate neighborhood the food would last from two to three weeks.”
    “Wow. I never thought of it like that.”
    “Would you refuse Susan and/or any kids you might have the opportunity to live through a crisis, maybe it would take a year or longer for things to get reestablished, so would you take her survival time down to three weeks from one year.”
    “I don’t guess so.”
    “Then you would be turning people away. And they would be angry. And that is family and friends. Wait until roving bands of people that already ravaged their immediate area come through your area. You are not only going to have to turn them down but you are going to have to protect what you do have. Anything that they want that someone else has they will try to take by force. Remember, if there is a local law enforcement at all, they will be overwhelmed and/or trying to survive with their own families. They might try to use their positions of power to coerce you into giving them what they need to survive. You have to forcibly protect what is yours against all foes, both known and unknown.”
    “You’ve given me a lot to think about Ralph.”
    “I hope so.”
    Last edited by dstraito; 02-28-2013 at 02:57 PM. Reason: formatting
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, America’s Second President

  3. #3
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    ok, I apologize for the formatting. I have tried cut and paste from both a Word format and a .TXT format but the formatting goes away.

    I know it is not very readable, any suggestions?
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, America’s Second President

  4. #4
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    The formating isn't that bad, had no problem reading it. Liked the first chapter, can we have MOAR!!!

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  5. #5
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    It seems to be quite readable and worth reading. Please continue.

  6. #6
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    Dstraito, I like the story so far... MOAR!!! Yes, the current formatting makes it a little hard to read. Thank you for posting. I look forward to more chapters.
    The right of the people to keep and bear arms is an extension of the natural right to self-defense and a hallmark of personal sovereignty. It is specifically insulated from governmental interference by the Constitution and has historically been the linchpin of resistance to tyranny.” – Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

  7. #7
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    Hey where is the next chapter, its like 1 piece of pop corn. Moar please.

  8. #8
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    The formatting IS that bad but the story is good so far. Hope you get it worked out but even if you don't I'm sure we will all read it and appreciate it.

    When I come across a story formatted like this I do a cut and paste into "Reply to Thread", seperate it into paragraphs and read it there. As I did this story.

  9. #9
    yeah, you'll have to go in and add spaces after each paragraph after c/p'ing it. Or you can "double" the spacing in Word as you write it. That may keep "one" space between paragraphs. lol! One never knows....hope it get it worked out but more than that, I hope you keep writing the story.

  10. #10
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    I think the formatting is just fine.
    So far so good...I hope you continue the story.

    Sully
    Got Jesus? It's hell without Him.

    * When the People become scared of the government it's called Tyranny. When the government becomes scared of the people it's called LIBERTY!!*
    Thomas Jefferson

  11. #11
    Yes, please post your story. I have rad many, but the way this part was written makes me hope that it will be one that I can recommend to several people I know with attitudes just like Doug. GF

  12. #12
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    Keep posting! I'll read around it ,lol.
    Alea iacta est! We have crossed the Rubicon.
    Proud member of the Nowski Brigade!

  13. #13
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    Good start! I'll keep reading if you'll keep writing!
    It's later than you think!
    (Fr. Seraphim Rose)

  14. #14
    Reads good so far. Please continue.

  15. #15
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    You should still be able to go in and edit your post and put paragraphs in. If its too late and it won't let you do it, let me know and I'll do it for you.

    And, yes, please continue your story!
    Visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/TheCrochetFarm

    If we aren't showing love, His love, then what are we doing calling ourselves Christians?

    Psalm 73: 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

  16. #16
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    Good story. Looking forward to much more, as soon as possible, please...

    Thanks!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaijafon View Post
    yeah, you'll have to go in and add spaces after each paragraph after c/p'ing it. Or you can "double" the spacing in Word as you write it. That may keep "one" space between paragraphs. lol! One never knows....hope it get it worked out but more than that, I hope you keep writing the story.
    it is double spaced in word but I've tried saving it in pdf, word, html and in each case when I cut and paste the formatting gets lost

    I have written the whole book but I was only posting the pages after I do an edit. I'll post another section today.
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, America’s Second President

  18. #18
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    Chapter

    Doug survived the hunting trip and made it back to Paradise, back to his staid life where he didn’t have to entertain or play ‘What If’ and his life was mapped out just like he thought it should be. He got out of his clothes that even though he’d been careful, he still got the buck’s blood on him. He turned the shower on until the steam filled every crevice of the bathroom and stepped into the hot water. He just stood there emotionally exhausted as much as he was physically. He hadn’t slept much during this bonding time with his soon to be father in law. A day driving, three days there and a day back. Five days was a little much, especially since six days a week he managed the store that Ralph owned and saw him every day. Not that he was complaining. A lot of people would give anything to have his job. He got to work at a sporting goods store around things that he loved like shooting, fishing, camping, and all manner of other outdoor activities. Even though he worked six days a week, the store was closed on Sundays, he could take off when he wanted to and he had others he could delegate much of the work to. The shower seemed to revive him enough to get out, dry off, and shave off the five day growth of brown hair. He wanted to call Susan but only had four hours before he was supposed to have dinner with her and Ralph. He set the alarm and before he was even aware his eyes had closed it was going off.

    “Darn, three and a half hours had already gone by.”

    He dressed in his Sunday best, or actually in what he wore pretty much every day, jeans, a Pollo shirt and his Adias walking shoes. A lot of people made fun of his wearing walking shoes rather than boots as tended to be the culture around Paradise but he was comfortable if not stylish.

    He got in his red Ford F150 to go to the outskirts of Paradise where Ralph owned 160 acres of land and a nice Spanish style hacienda, that’s house for those of you that don’t speak the lingo. A lot of people called him mini-Ralph like the character in the Austin Powers move, mini-me. He had a smaller make of basically the same truck; he worked in the same store and at times seemed to shadow Ralph and could make executive decisions with or without his boss. He drove through the open wrought iron gate framed in the adobe wall on both sides and drove a quarter mile to the one story house.

    He pulled up under a large Oak tree to the right side of the semi-circular driveway. He liked to think of this as his spot as he parked there almost every time. He hauled his six foot two frame out of his truck and walked to the front door. He knocked even though Ralph told him he could come in anytime since he was just like family, but he wasn’t family, at least not yet. Susan went down this road once before, only with her high-school boyfriend. She married him right out of high school and he went to work for her dad. What should have been bliss quickly turned sour as her ex, Mark White turned out to be a sloppy, mean drunk. Susan divorced him after Ralph fired him for coming in drunk one too many times. Doug asked Susan to move in with him but being gun shy she preferred to take things slow and live with her dad. It especially unnerved her that he followed the same path and was working for her dad like Mark had.

    Susan answered the door. “Hi, you know you don’t need to knock.”

    Doug shrugged and gave her a kiss. He pulled the sunflower bouquet from behind his back and presented her with the arrangement. He would have bought roses or another flower he thought was prettier but sunflowers were her favorite.
    Susan was wearing a bright flowery sundress with an apron on top. Her auburn hair with bangs just reached the tops of her shoulders. She kissed him on the cheek. “Thanks love, why don’t you make yourself comfortable in the den, I’m just about through with dinner.”

    Doug appraised her and whistled lowly, “You look hot. Anything I can help with?”

    “If you are talking about dinner, not a thing, it will just be a few minutes.”

    “What if I wasn’t talking about dinner?” He grinned mischievously.

    Doug wandered into the den where all the activities of the Ralph Stigen family took place. There were the ubiquitous animals heads mounted all around the room with the largest, a moose above the fireplace. Doug had the random thought “I guess this is where the deer and the antelope don’t play anymore.” He laughed at himself and sat down on the couch. The ranch style décor was offset by a large 65 inch Panasonic flat screen television that Ralph liked to watch GOD’s team play, the Dallas Cowboys, of course.

    Susan called Doug and her dad to dinner.

    Doug sat across from Susan and Ralph sat at one end in the appropriate patriarch position.

    “Glad to see you boys survived the trip.” Susan said.

    “Some of us better than others.” Ralph said.

    Since Susan moved back in after the divorce she preferred to call her dad by his given name. “Ralph said you wussed out when you had a trophy buck dead to rights.”

    Doug stiffened slightly. “I wouldn’t say that, I choose not to shoot it.”

    She laughed. “Just like you wouldn’t kill that squirrel that was getting into the bird feeder, you shot it in the tail instead.”

    “Made the squirrel leave didn’t I?”

    “Yeah for one day.” She said with a twinkle in her eye.

    If something needs shooting then I’ll shoot it.” Doug said.

    “How about her ex then” Ralph said looking very serious.

    Doug couldn’t tell if he was kidding or not.

    “You just have a big heart, nothing wrong with that. It’s one of the reasons I love you.” Susan said.

    “Well if you love me, how about moving in with me?”

    She just smiled. “Nope, not ready for that.”

    Doug thought it wasn’t just her painful past and her ex, it was the nature of his working for her dad. Or maybe it was just because she was a woman and women were complicated.

    She said “Remember that snake in the tree well?”

    “Hey, I killed that.”

    “Yeah but not before trying to capture it and put it in the ice chest so you could take it to the woods. Too bad it struck out at you, it might have lived.”

    “Dinner smells good, what’s cookin’” Doug said to change the subject.

    “You’ll see.” Susan said and got up from the table. She made several round trips to the kitchen and back and placed the dinner on hot plates in the middle. The main course being a roast, with mashed potatoes and asparagus. “I made Rolled Venison Roast with milk, pepper, bayleaf, onion salt, garlic powder, mushroom soup, chicken soup and onion.” She was proud of her cooking a meal because she’d garnered a reputation for not being able to cook very well.

    Ralph said “You might notice that rump round since you field dressed it.”
    Doug nodded aware that this was the magnificent animal they’d taken earlier.
    Ralph bent his head and held out his hands. “Let’s pray.”

    Susan and Doug held hands across the table and each grabbed one of Ralph’s hands.

    “Lord, thank you for the many blessing you have bestowed upon us. Bless this beast and thank you for providing him for our sustenance. In your name we pray, Amen.”

    Short and to the point, as usual. Still, Doug did pay more attention to this prayer as he’d been part of taking this bounty.

    Susan looked expectantly at Doug as he sampled the roast.

    He made a face like it was awful and then smiled at her. “It’s great, who made this?”

    She just stuck out her tongue at him and semi-pouted through the meal until both Doug and Ralph had made enough comments about how good it was.

    Doug helped clear the table and rinse the dishes while Susan loaded the dishwasher.
    She said “Go on in and visit with Ralph, I can finish up here.”

    Doug almost would rather have stayed and helped in the kitchen rather than engage in another conversation about the coming collapse of society. Ralph even had a term for that, TEOTWAWKI or The End Of The World As We Know It.

    Doug sat down on the couch, careful not to sit in Ralph’s chair or “The Throne” as he’d come to think of it. Ralph came over with a unlit cigar in his mouth and two glasses of Crown over ice. The cigar was unlit in deference to Susan’s late mother who was always on his case to stop smoking cigars. Only after she’d passed did he see fit to honor that request.

    He handed Doug a glass and sat on his throne.

    “She’s getting better every meal, pretty soon I won’t have anything to kid her about.” Ralph said.

    “It was very good.” Doug agreed.

    Ralph was seventy-nine, slightly stooped with a full head of grey hair. He could crush your hand in the proverbial firm handshake though, tough as nails he was. They joked about how could the business survive with both of them gone at the same time and agreed there would be a lot of work to do or even undo Monday.
    Ralph took on a serious look. “Doug, I wanna tell you something.”

    When Ralph paused Doug cleared his throat. “Okay.”

    “I think you are a decent guy, much better than that slacker she was married to before.”

    “Uh, thanks, I think.”

    “But you have to be able to take care of her always, you have to protect her, be strong when you need to be. Especially if something should ever happen to me.”

    “You’re probably going to outlive both of us.” Doug said with firm conviction.

    “I’m serious. There are hard times coming, times that will call for hard actions. Your and Susan’s survival depend on you being able to make the hard decisions, take the hard actions.”

    Bewildered, Doug stayed silent, rather let Ralph continue to see where he was going with this.

    Ralph got up and retrieved the bottle of Crown Royale. He freshened both their glasses. “Tough Times.” He said.

    “Look, if this is about the deer, I can shoot one if I need to. In fact, next time we go, I’ll shoot the deer just to get you off my back.”

    “It’s more than shooting the deer. Can you protect her, in all circumstances?”
    “I’d like to think so.”

    Ralph nodded, then said “Gosh Darn idiots are running the country.”

    Doug just pursed his lips and looked thoughtful. He knew better than to get in conversations about politics and while they agreed on most basic principles it got Ralph so worked up he usually had indigestion for a couple of days afterward. Sometimes, like tonight, he didn’t have to reply, he just had to listen.

    Ralph seemed preoccupied or lost in thought when he got animated.

    “Government has grown out of control. It’s gotten too big I tell ya. Their unlimited spending has not only put us in jeopardy but our kids and their kids. No one understands how close we are to the tipping point. The deficit is unsustainable. You remember me telling you about an ELE?”

    “Extinction Level Event, yes, but what does that have to do with the deficit?”

    “The impact of an economic collapse will be just as great in terms of chaos and anarchy as an EMP.”

    “If the economy collapses, doesn’t that just mean we will go through rough times, like a depression, and emerge sometime in the future weakened but wiser like the Great Depression?”

    “Not this time. I’ve never before seen such a cultural divide, such a racial divide in this country. I’ve never so many people believe they are entitled to things they don’t have to work for. “

    “So there are a few deadbeats in this country.”

    “It’s more than deadbeats. It is the liberal leftist agenda trying to collapse America as we know it.”

    “Why would they try to collapse it, I can understand if they tried to change it to what they want but wouldn’t a collapse hurt them just as much?”

    Ralph said “Have you ever heard of Saul Alinsky? He wrote a book called Rules for Radicals. The leftists liberals have adopted the strategies outlined in this book to achieve their radical agenda.”

    “Nope. Never heard of it.”

    “They believe the ‘end justifies the means’. Their methods to get people to participate include the task of agitating, rubbing resentments, fanning hostilities and searching our controversy. ”

    Doug considered himself conservative but really was politically apathetic. “So they are just a fringe group right, nothing to worry about?”

    “They used to be fringe, now they are mainstream and making no bones about their objectives. Alinsky’s not the only one. There is a political strategy created by Richard Cloward and Frances Piven that calls for overloading the public welfare system in order to bring about a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of guaranteed income to end poverty. I call this socialism at best, communism at worst. The Democratic Party has embraced this philosophy thinking it will strengthen their party. They have continued to move to the left to where they are almost against the left edge. Their goal is a massive Redistribution of Wealth from the rich into entitlements for the poor.”

    Susan walked in then carrying three plates with pecan pie. “Enough politics boys.”

    Doug was grateful because Ralph was starting to get worked up. If not stopped he could have gone on all night.

    They ate the pie and Doug was forced to have a second piece. Ralph decided to go to bed leaving Doug and Susan cuddling on the couch in front of a crackling fire.
    “You shouldn’t let him get going so much on politics, he gets stressed out.” Susan said.

    “Like I could have stopped him?”

    “He is passionate about it.”

    “What do you think about his opinions?” Doug asked.

    “I think for the most part he is right, but it’s not something I like to think about. If he is right, then we have some bad times coming our way.”

    Doug pulled her closer. “Let’s hope he is wrong.”

    Susan looked up at him. “I missed you these last five days.”

    He looked at her with longing. “Me too. How about coming over to my place tonight.”
    “I’d love to but I have to be at the clinic at seven in the morning. We are having an open house.” Susan volunteered at a no-kill animal shelter.

    “In fact, why don’t you move in with me?”

    “We’ve been over this Doug, I’m not ready to lose my independence, again.”

    “What independence, you are living with your dad.”

    “Yes, but I’m independent here. If I moved in with you once again I’d have to rely on you for all my needs. It’s only been six months since I divorced Mark and I need a little more time. I have a job interview Wednesday so let me work, save up a bit of money.”

    Doug sighed and then agreed because he really didn’t have a say in the matter. He was head-over-heels on Susan but wanted her to feel the same way. They kissed a bit longer and Doug got up.

    “I’ve got to go get some sleep. Ralph and I are going to have a busy day tomorrow having been gone.”

    They kissed at the door and Ralph drove back to his apartment feeling full from dinner but not really satiated.
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, America’s Second President

  19. #19
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    Good chapter. Last line though, should be "Doug" drove back, not Ralph...

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGTech View Post
    Good chapter. Last line though, should be "Doug" drove back, not Ralph...
    good catch, thanks
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, America’s Second President

  21. #21
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    Good story!

    I suppose I should get started............




    MOAR!! MOAR!!
    ( \ o / )
    / _ \

    Sammy55:
    Following my Lord-
    Where He leads me,
    What He wants of me,
    Who He wants me to be.

  22. #22
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    Are you going to finish the story? I hate being left without an ending!!!
    Deemy

  23. #23
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    Doug left early for Ralphs’ store, BPs and as usual found Ralph hard at work. BP stood for Be Prepared and Doug started thinking there was more to Ralph than met the eye.

    “Could be worse.” Ralph muttered at Doug. Looked like he just came from getting a fresh cup of coffee in his “World’s Best Boss” mug. Mark gave him that trying to kiss up when he was married to Susan. Ralph hated Mark but for some reason kept the mug.

    Of the two managers that worked for him, Doug liked Sheila Jackson the best. Sheila was the Mayors’ daughter but Doug didn’t hold that against her. She always had an upbeat attitude and never had a negative word to say about anyone. Herb always acted resentful that Doug was manager since he had been working at the store for a lot longer, but honestly, he didn’t have the initiative or motivation or work ethic to succeed as manager and he was always griping about something.

    Herb worked the earlier shift and Sheila came in later and closed. Doug usually opened and closed but had no complaints as he enjoyed his job.

    Herb made a beeline to Doug and started in.

    “We only got half our shipment of ammo for next weeks’ sale and the circular was wrong, I had to send it back to the printer, and…” Herb said.

    “Whoa, can I at least get some coffee?” Doug protested.

    “Sure, just letting you know I was on top of things while you were gone.”

    Doug got his coffee from the break room. He could always tell when Ralph made the coffee as it could almost jump out of the cup and walk off. He sat down to an uncluttered desk. It used to be when he would be gone even for a few hours his desk would be piled high with things demanding his attention. He let it be known that nothing was to be put on his desk but rather placed in his inbox. He looked over at his overflowing inbox and sighed. Grabbing the first item off the top he started to review it but saw Herb coming his way.

    “I should have shut the door.” He thought.

    They discussed the upcoming sale, the ammo shortage, the need to increase seasonal staffing and a few other things. Doug gave Herb a list of things to do, just to keep him busy and out of his hair.

    Doug moseyed over to the gun and hunting department where the manager Gunny stocked the display cabinet with new Smith and Wesson arrivals. Gunny was a Gunnery Sergeant in Viet Nam. His real name was Kimberley Benjamin Snodgrass so Doug understood why he wanted everyone to call him Gunny.

    “Got our shipment in from Smith and Wesson.” Gunny said. He reached into the cabinet and retrieved a monster of a gun. “Look at this sumbitch.”

    Doug accepted the .460 XVR big X-frame revolver. It was basically a stretched .454 Casull and shot the .454 Casull, the .460 and even the .45 long colt. The stainless steel gun propels a factory loaded 200 grain Barnes X bullet at 2300 feet-per-second and was a force to be reckoned with. The gun was fifteen inches in length when fitted with the longer compensator. “Wow. That is some piece. How many of those did we get in?”

    Gunny said “Just this one, they go for $1400 plus tax. Good gun for shooting a grizzly.”

    Doug nodded saying “Too bad there aren’t too many grizzlies around here.”
    “Yeah, but you could also shoot the 360 grain bullet through most steel doors, nobody gonna hide from this baby.”

    “Why wouldn’t you want to just get the S&W .500?”

    Gunny rubbed his ZZ-Top looking beard that was more gray than black. “Well for one, the .500 Magnum has more power with the heavier bullets, but the .460 can give you a flatter trajectory. It is more accurate, strong and it’s built to last. If I had to choose between the two, I’d take the .460.”

    Doug said “I sure like it but I’ll have to hit the lottery, even with my discount before I can afford that big boy. Hey, what is the status of the ammo order, Herb is getting worked up over it.”

    “We only got half our order. Apparently there is a nationwide shortage right now thanks to the liberal idiots trying to get rid of the Second Amendment. Everyone thinks they are going to try to push some back door policy and all of a sudden they won’t be able to get ammo.”

    “Just rumors, nothing like that is going to happen.” Doug said with conviction.

    “I’m not so sure. Anyway a majority of the people buying ammo are buying more than they would normally. I’ve had several customers tell me they were sure an Executive Order or agree with the United Nations international gun control restrictions. They are basically trying to disarm the American people and the people around here aren’t going to go for that crap.”

    Doug said “You think any American would let them get away with that?”
    Gunny said “I think over half would and of the half that wouldn’t they don’t what to know what they government is doing, they are sheeple. The bleeding heart liberal would have all guns taken away so they can control us when they impose martial law. Hell, the Second Amendment to the US Constitution states ‘A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’” To emphasize his point Gunny pointed to the bulletin board where a card repeated those words in script.
    “Sheeple?”

    “Yeah, they will blindly follow whatever the Government says and ignore what is going on behind the curtain. You try and tell them things and they put their hands over their ears going la la la la la, they don’t want to know.” Gunny said.
    “I know the liberals try to reinterpret that to make it say that only the military have the right to bear arms but this is not what the Founding Fathers meant when they wrote the Bill of Rights.” Doug said.

    “The way the Government is acting is exactly the reason the Second Amendment came about, to protect us from the powers that be.” Gunny said. “I think we will need those arms real soon the way things are going.”

    “Jeez, what is it lately with all the doom and gloom?”

    Doug didn’t know how long Ralph had been behind him and startled when Ralph said “You’d better listen to Gunny, a crisis is coming and it ain’t gonna be pretty.”
    Doug said “So you mean besides the EMP thingy, the out of control sun spot, the super volcano causing massive tsunamis and a total economic collapse, now we have to worry about the government becoming a dictatorship and taking away everyone’s weapons and imposing martial law. Did I cover everything?”

    Gunny piped up “Not quite. Those are the things we know that could happen, there are a bunch of things we don’t know.”

    “Like what?” Doug asked.

    “Like someone, I’m not sure who said never let a crisis go to waste. Well what if it was a manufactured crisis to cover the sheeple’s attention up like the economic situation, the lack of jobs, and the deficit. What if the foreign wars we are in were entered because of made up reasons as a diversion, a slight-of-hand to keep people’s minds off what is really going on?” Ralph said.

    It looked like Ralph and Gunny had talked before and were on the same page.
    Gunny added “Yeah, there could have a false flag event that gets everyone mad at someone besides them and then push forth new laws expanding governmental control.”

    “False flag, what is that?” Doug asked.

    Ralph answered. “That is a covert operation designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations look like they are being carried out by someone else. Like a pirate flying another countries flag and hoisting the Jolly Roger at the last minute.”
    “Like the Oklahoma bombing or 9-11. A lot of people say those were false flag operations.” Gunny said.

    “Do you believe that?” Doug asked.

    “I’m not saying I fully subscribe to those conspiracy theories, but there are some valid points made, like those buildings shouldn’t have collapsed like they did.”
    “Okay, I’ve got work to do, I’m not going to believe that our government is out to get us, inept maybe, but not corrupt.” Doug said. He retreated to his office thinking the world had gone mad. He expected to look out his window and see a man in a robe with a long grey beard wearing a placard that said “The End Is Near.”

    A couple of hours later, Susan walked into his office. “Hi, want to go to lunch? I had to mail some stuff.”

    Doug said “Sure.” He was relieved to get out of BP for a bit. He’d taken care of most of the administrative things in his inbox, at least the most important ones and he was hungry.

    They went to Ojeda’s where the Tex Mex food was, well, Tex Mex, you could eat it every day if need be.

    After being seated and served with the obligatory water, hot sauce and chips they ordered beef fajitas.

    Susan reached for his hand. “You looked tired, is everything going okay?”
    “Except for the end of the world that could occur at any moment, yeah, everything is great.”

    She laughed “What do you mean, Ralph been talking to you again?”

    “Ralph, Gunny, everyone is convinced that bad things are just around the corner.”
    “Well what do you think?”

    “I think bad things could happen, probably in time will happen but I’d prefer not to borrow trouble.”

    “Good way to look at things.” Susan agreed. “If something did happen, is there anything you could so about it? Probably not so don’t worry about it.”
    “I’m not really worried about things I can’t control, but what I can control is how I react in a situation like they are talking about. I could try to be more prepared for it, remember, I was a Boy Scout, our motto “Be Prepared” and all that.”

    “It’s funny we are talking about this, there are some contractors Ralph hired to come out to the ranch and do some work.”

    “What work, that place doesn’t need anything done to it?”

    “I’m not sure but several trucks showed up as I was leaving. The guy that looked like he was the crew boss told me Ralph had hired them and they were going to get started right away.”

    They ate their fajitas and Susan dropped him off at the store. He walked in and was greeted by Sheila. “How was your hunting trip?”

    “It was great, thanks for asking. How are things with you?”

    “Just Hunky Dory.”

    Doug smiled. He liked being around upbeat people. He walked through the warehouse and made a mental note to have the staff straighten it up. They had a pretty good team but while the cat was away the mice will play. He saw a packing container. It was probably supposed to say “This End Up” but a forklift or something had rubbed the lettering making it say “Th End “. “Pretty weird.” He thought but appropriate to the conversations he’d been having.

    Back in his office he called several ammunition manufacturers’ and got pretty much the same answer everywhere. Ammo was scarce because of the high demand and that government purchases were up 800%. BP was a large shop for Paradise but not as large as the box stores in the DFW Metroplex. He had to deal with a customer that bought a Ruger .380 the week before but could not find any ammo anywhere. The customer wanted to go to the target range to become proficient with the weapon he was going to use as his concealed carry but couldn’t find enough ammo to even practice with. He placated the customer by giving him a discount on the Hornady Critical Defense .380 ammo. It was much more expensive, almost a dollar a bullet, than the Full Metal Jacket box of 50 rounds more appropriate for target practice. They lost money on the ammo but retained the customer, not a practice they could do indefinitely but the BP policy was to have superior customer service.
    Doug left at the end of the day exhausted, in part from not being caught up from his hunting trip, part from catching up from being gone from work and part from an overwhelming sense of despair he attributed to the doom-and-gloom conversations he’d been having as of late. He forgot to ask Ralph what he was doing to the ranch with all the contractors, he’d have to remember to ask him about that in the morning. As he lay in bed, thinking about all the scenarios that just recently invaded his mind, he gave each of them a little consideration before falling asleep. He woke up groggily hearing the TV; he’d forgotten to turn it off after Leno’s monologue. He grabbed his remote and looked at the television; the timing had him right at the end of a movie where in big bold letters it said “The End”. “Now that’s just weird.” He thought and fell back to sleep.
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, America’s Second President

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deemy View Post
    Are you going to finish the story? I hate being left without an ending!!!
    I'm editing the story trying to find the glaring errors. It is a novel length story so please be patient, there are many more parts to come. We haven't even gotten to TSHTF yet.
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, America’s Second President

  25. #25
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    wow it almost sounds like you are writing it from today's headlines, with a good dose of timebomb 2000 thrown in!

    MOAR!! MOAR!!

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  26. #26
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    ok, here is the obligatory warning. There is language in the next section. I don't usually resort to bad language but I couldn't figure out how to do this section without it. I'm introducing another character that will come into play later in the book.
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, America’s Second President

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    18

    Gorge Sanchez didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about things, he just acted or reacted. An up-and-coming member of his local Mara Salvatrucha 13 otherwise known as the MS-13 gang in Los Angeles, he already garnered the respect of his peers. Fearless in his actions, fiercely loyal to his leaders he started taking on more important roles such as collecting money from shaking down local merchants and initiating new members. Today Carlos, his leader called him to a meeting at one of their meeting spots on Olympic Blvd between the 101 and the Santa Monica Freeway. Gorge lived a lie in that he didn’t really come from El Salvador but was born in the United States. His father was killed and his mother was deported and he found himself alone on the streets. Carlos took him in and honed him into the ruthless being he had become. He didn’t want to let on to the rest of the guys his legal status as being an illegal carried more prestige.

    Carlos called to him. “Mad Max, come over here puto.” The crazier people know you to be the more respect the gang gives you as evidenced by your nickname and of course, using Spanish profanity and insults the common practice.

    “Puto, I know you’ve been eyeing my girl.”

    The heavily tattooed man said “Ah, shit man, I wouldn’t do that.”

    Carlos glanced at him narrowing his eyes and then laughed. “I’m only shittin’ you man.”

    Gorge visibly relaxed. Less serious infractions earned many people the ultimate sanction.

    “Hey, I got sumthin’ for you to do.”

    “Okay, anything.”

    “I need you to go to Texas.”

    “Texas, why the **** would I want to go there.”

    “Because I’m telling you to, that’s why. That and Jimmy in Texas got arrested.”

    “What’d he do this time?”

    “One of our own turned and fingered him for the gang rape of some chick, afterwards, he kicked her in the neck and killed her.”

    “So.”

    “So I want you to take over their chapter.”

    “That’ll piss off the locals, don’t they have someone there to do it.”

    “Here’s what you are going to do. You are going to go there, kill the scumbag informant and establish some order, make sure they know they are still under us.”

    “Okay, you’re the boss.”

    Gorge took one last look around his apartment. He packed everything that was important to him in a single cardboard box. The apartment he’d lived in the last three years would have to be fumigated and totally restored as trashed out as it was. On more than one occasion he’d cooked up a batch of meth so the carpet and sheetrock would have to be replaced as well. The carpet had bloodstains anyway from numerous disputes, fights, and drunken revelry. Gorge or Max Max as everyone knew him did not make an imposing physical figure standing at five feet four inches. He did instill fear in anyone that talked to him. Tattoos covered eighty percent of his body and while tattoos achieved semi-acceptable status in today’s world the content did not. He had tally marks for each person he killed. So far there were two groups of five and three more. He had a portrait of Angelina, his first true love and the first person he’d ever killed after catching her with his best friend. Turns out the best friend was raping her and she wasn’t being unfaithful. The best friend was number two. Since then he almost had no feelings at all except for the occasional regret about killing Angelina. In the still of the night, he’d sometimes wonder how things might have turned out if he’d not gone down that road.
    It looked like a dragon was trying to crawl in the box from his right elbow to his shoulder and on the left he had skulls mouthing a scream with blood dripping from their eyes. He walked out of the apartment not bothering to close the door. He walked down the stairs and out to his fifty-nine Chevy Biscayne. Yes it was stereotypical but he didn’t care. It might be the one possession he had that he really cared about. The blue car chopped down into a low-rider with the fins on the back looked really good. He got compliments where ever he went. Number 12 was a old man at a grocery store that accidently backed into him. He didn’t think, he just pulled out his pistolero (as he liked to call it), a .44 Remington Magnum or like the gun Clint Eastwood used. The weapon kicked incredibly and it made him feel more macho to combat the impression his size gave him. The scariest part of Gorge was not the tattoos though, it was his eyes. He just looked crazy. If he had not already earned the knick name Mad Max, the moniker would have had the word loco in it.

    He got in his blue low-rider and drove to the corner Valero. He filled up and drove off. He never expected to be back in California again so why did he care. He headed East as per Carlos’s instructions.
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, America’s Second President

  28. #28
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    here come da bad guys!!

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  29. #29
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    Doug looked up at the wall clock in the warehouse. Almost lunch-time. Even though he was the manager and could delegate he often chose the hard labor associated with unloading a supply truck and organizing the merchandise for easy access according to how often they would need to retrieve it for product placement in the store. He’d never been afraid of hard work and sweat as it gave him a feeling of accomplishment that shuffling papers in his office often could not do. Yes, the paper shuffling was necessary but not satisfying.

    He toweled off in the restroom and then walked into the break room. Sheila stood with a couple of other people looking at the break room television. A CNN banner with “Breaking News” scrolled across the bottom third of the screen.
    “What’s going on?” Doug asked.
    “Europe is rioting, something about Greece, Spain, and Italy going bankrupt. There is a run on the banks and they just announced the Euro was going away.” Sheila said.

    “Wow that is pretty major.”

    Doug grabbed the remote from the counter and turned the volume up.
    “…and as Europe goes, so too will the United States. This is a global problem, not just a European one.” The news commentator said.

    The point was driven home by the Dow-Jones Industrial Average scrolling across the screen, down 480 points. The commentator went on. “California is the world’s eighth largest economy and is in the same boat as Greece and Spain. It would not surprise this commentator for California to declare bankruptcy. They have huge deficits and they refuse to consider that their favorable immigration policies and catering to entitlement groups and endangered species has made them spend so much money they don’t have they can’t recover short of bankruptcy and starting over. Unions and pension plans have contributed to their woes and the Unions are making noise about going on strike if the pension plans are reduced in any way. People are starting to leave California in droves, voting with their feet if you will, as record spending and record taxes are starting to sink that state. It’s not just California though; there are more states underwater and closer to the California model than one would think. The only state in the Union to have actually created jobs is Texas which appears to be a destination that a lot of Californians are headed.”

    Doug turned the volume back down. “Isn’t that special. They can come here and wreck this state now that they are through collapsing their own.”

    Sheila said “Actually, if they had the common sense to leave they are probably not part of the problem.”

    “Good point.” Doug said. He walked out of the break room, the assault on his state of mind continuing. He heard Gunny’s voice uncharacteristically raised. He walked over to the shooting department to find Mark White, Susan’s ex arguing with Gunny.
    “What’s going on?” Doug asked.

    “Your store is trying to cheat me.” Mark said slurring his words. Mark exemplified the typical country bumpkin redneck, lots of brawn, short on brains. He stood about six feet five inches with tree trunk arms and a thick neck. Doug never knew what Susan saw in him.

    Gunny said “He abused this rifle he bought last week and now wants us to give him a refund.”

    “Didn’t abuse anything, the rifle is defective, blew up the end of the barrel.”

    Sounded like Mark had been drinking. Susan told him stories about what a mean drunk Mark was.

    “Let’s see.” Doug picked up the .30-06 or thirty-aught-six and looked it over.

    “Looks like you dropped it in the mud and then shot it, pretty much voids the warranty.”

    “Don’t give me that bullshit; you sold me a defective product.”

    “I doubt that Remington ever made a bad rifle, they have a great product inspection program before it could ever get out the door.” Doug scraped dirt out of the serial number and wrote it down. He went to the computer on the counter, entered his password and brought up the store app. He entered the serial number. “Sorry, Mark, you must be confused. We didn’t sell this rifle.”

    “Hey, I demand to see a manager.” Mark said, his voice getting increasing in volume.
    “I am the manager.” Doug said.

    “Well I wanna talk to another one, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
    “Sorry, I’m all there is.”

    “I thought you would say that you pussy. You have your head so far up Ralph’s ass you can probably see his tonsils.” Mark said.

    Doug just laughed it off. “That’d be a good trick.”

    “I ought to come back there and whip your ass.” Mark threatened.

    Gunny reached over and picked up the shotgun they had for just such belligerent cases. The employees were actually allowed to wear weapons in the store but they all chose not to because it might intimidate the customers.

    “See, I knew you were a pussy, got get backup don’t ya, let’s go, right here right now.”

    “I think you need to leave now, or we can just get PPD involved.” Doug said. The Paradise Police Department was small but competent and Mark had plenty of run-ins with them before.”

    “Why don’t you get behind the skirts of your whore? She ain’t good for nuthin’ anyway.” Mark slurred.

    “I’m not sure where your mama is, do you know?” Doug retorted.

    Mark moved towards Doug with malice in his eyes.

    Gunny simply chambered a round in the shotgun. Maybe it was Hollywood but the sound of racking a shotgun instilled fear in most people.

    “I’m leaving, but I’m not through with you Dougie.”

    Mark turned to leave but was still within earshot when Doug said “Gunny, I’m going to lunch at Sonic, want anything?”

    Mark continued out the door. Gunny asked “Why did you announce that, he will just follow you there?”

    Doug just smiled. When Mark was out the door he went to his office. He put his Ruger .380 in his pocket. He preferred his Smithfield Armory .45 XD. It had a lot more knock-down power but it didn’t make for a very good concealed carry weapon. He’d gotten his Concealed Carry Permit the summer before and after trying several different weapons, the Ruger was the weapon of choice to carry. It’s polymer frame and low profile made it similar to carrying a wallet and with the Hornady Critical Defense round, it was powerful enough for most run-of-the-mill situations. He popped his head into Ralph’s office.

    “What’d that idiot want?” Ralph asked.

    “He wanted to return a defective rifle that wasn’t defective to a store he didn’t buy it from, pretty simple.”

    “I saw Gunny get the shotgun out, did he threaten any trouble?”

    “Nothing I can’t handle. I’m going to lunch.”

    Doug must have had a look in his eyes that spelt trouble. Ralph said “Let it alone, it isn’t worth it.”

    Doug just nodded and walked to his truck.

    He turned into Sonic and drove to the other side. He saw Marks beat up Ford Bronco. The top was off and it was covered in mud, inside and out. It had a five inch lift kit on it, the kind usually reserved for short guys compensating for something. Maybe Mark was compensating for something else; he’d have to ask Susan later.
    “I’ll make it easy for him.” He thought. He got out of his F150 and sat down at a table with his back toward the Bronco. He looked over the menu a few minutes and then pressed the red button and made his order. The cute waitress on rollerblades came out and put his order on the table. He paid and then took a bite looking directly in front of him. He waited until he heard the footsteps. At six foot five and drunk, Mark could not walk with finesse. Doug stood up quickly surprise Mark who must have thought he could sneak up on him.

    Doug said “Sounds about right, try to sucker punch me eh?”

    “I don’t need to, I’m going to chew you up and spit you out.” Mark growled.

    “Susan said you had peculiar eating habits, I guess she was right.”

    Doug was not a hero. He usually avoided fights altogether this one was a long time in coming. Mark had harassed Susan many times both drunk and sober after their divorce and now that he and Susan were seeing each other, he’d made threats to Susan saying he would take Doug out and punish her later. He felt maybe it was time to face this bully down as most bullies are really cowards at heart and only bully when they perceive someone weaker than them.

    “Gonna mess you up bro.” Mark said. His eyes were enflamed and reddened like he must have sweetened the buzz he’d been working on earlier.

    “That’s no good for me. Today is my neat day. Could you come back tomorrow, I can pencil you in?” Doug’s mom always said his mouth got him in trouble and he was trying real hard to make her right.

    Mark spits towards Doug’s feet. He always had a chaw of some awful tobacco going. It missed.

    Doug was not a black-belt. He was not a Jujitsu expert or a golden gloves boxer. What he did have going for him was strength and quick reflexes. How hard is it to move faster than a drunk, really? He anticipated the round house heading toward his face. One thing he had learned to do was to visualize an opponent and consider the three or four obvious moves they would make and a counter response. Kind of like playing chess, just a little rougher. He slid inside the punch, grabbed Mark’s arm and used that momentum to propel Mark over the table and onto his butt. The lunch time crowd was definitely getting their money’s worth with this entertaining show.
    Mark jumped up, well, more like staggered up more belligerent than ever. Mark put one foot on the seat on his side of the table and launched at Doug who did a little duck-bob. He lowered his shoulders and then came up quick like a blitzing line-backer. Once again, Mark found himself flying through the air, only this time instead of landing on the ground a menu pole broke his fall, then he met the ground. He must have bumped his head on the pole or the ground because he lay there stunned. It probably didn’t help Mark swallowing the chaw.

    Doug picked up the wrapper and trash from his table and threw what was left of the burger in the trash. He went to his car with his heart beating a mile-a-minute but otherwise no worse for wear. He knew Mark hated him for being with Susan but now Mark really had a reason to hate him, he’d have to watch his back.
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, America’s Second President

  30. #30
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    Doug drove back to BP and on entering saw Mayor John Johnson, Sheila’s dad there. That surprised Doug because the Mayor and Ralph were not exactly on speaking terms. Ralph ran against John in a heated race where it was neck and neck until John started flinging mud. The mud didn’t stick because it wasn’t true but the damage was done and he won the race. Since then, he’d made Ralph jump through hoops for a few minor zoning permits. The Mayor had Sheila by the arm talking animatedly to her. He couldn’t make out what her dad said to her but he could tell it upset her.

    “Are you okay?” Doug asked as he approached her.

    “Yeah, just family stuff, no big deal.”

    “Looked like the Mayor,uh, your dad said something to upset you.”

    “He is angry because Emily is seeing someone he doesn’t think is appropriate and he wants me to intervene.” Emily was the Mayor’s youngest daughter.

    Sheila said “Heard you just had some fun over at the Sonic.”

    “How could you have heard about that, it just happened?”

    “Small town Dougie.” For some reason Sheila always called him Dougie. It sounded better coming from her than from Mark.

    He made the rounds of the different departments, canoes and kayaks, fishing gear, winter clothing, camping, and ended up back at shooting. The shooting department was his favorite. Doug loved rifles, pistols, reloading equipment and anything to do with shooting. He went to the range at least once a month, the last time outshooting Ralph who was an expert marksman back in the day. Gunny was talking to a customer, a wiry smallish man with a couple of cases worth of ammo on the counter.

    “I don’t know if I can sell you all this ammo, it won’t leave much for our other customers.” Gunny said.

    The customer reached into his coverall jeans pocket and pulled out a wad of cash. “It’s for sale, I’m paying cash, why do you care whether it goes to one person or a hundred?”

    Doug stepped to the side of the customer and introduced himself as the manager.

    “Why do you need so much ammo?”

    “Do I have to have a reason?” the customer asked.

    “No, of course not.” Doug said. “I was just curious to know whether this was a one-time deal or if I need to start ordering more.”

    “If I were you, I’d order all I could get, gonna need it soon.”

    “Really, why is that?”

    “Too many reasons.” The customer said.

    “You mean like a CME or an EMP?” Doug said.

    The customer’s face lit up. “Exactly. Only there are a lot more things that could happen, most of the resulting in the collapse of the economy and the structure of the United States.”

    “Other things.”

    “Yeah, like for sure there is an economic time bomb just waiting to go off. When it does there will be anarchy, a total collapse, everyone will be on their own. Europe is collapsing, we will follow, that is if we don’t get hit by Nibiru or the Yellowstone Volcano doesn’t erupt or the pole shift doesn’t happen.”

    “Nibiru, Pole Shift?” Doug said.

    “You gonna sell me this ammo or what?”

    “Sure, but tell me, you can’t possible shoot all that ammo, why do you need so much.”

    “After the collapse I won’t be able to buy anymore so I’m getting mine now.”

    Doug nodded to Gunny and said “You have a nice day sir.”

    Gunny rang the sale up and Doug walked off.

    He drove straight to Ralph’s after work for dinner again. He ate there more than at his apartment. He really was like an extended family member. He couldn’t park under the oak tree in his normal spot as a construction truck parked there. It looked like they were building a form for a wall extending the wall at the gate entrance. He parked besides Susans’ Toyota Prius and walked to the front porch of the Victorian style house. Looking over his shoulder he reflected on his truck next to the Prius.

    “Guess that’s kind of a wash energy wise” he thought. He walked in without knocking and it felt weird but maybe he’d get used to it.

    “Doug, come on in here.” Ralph called out.

    Doug entered the library that was off the main entrance. Originally a large dining room, Ralph converted it to walls with shelves and a couple of La-Z-Boy leather chairs. He had an extensive book collection. Ralph must have seen him pull up as there was a glass of Crown over ice waiting for him. They talked over store business for a few minutes. Doug really enjoyed his talks with Ralph over Crown. They indulged in this ritual a couple times a week. Doug related the story of the man buying all the ammo.

    “They guy was going on about collapse and mentioned Nib something and pole shifts. I almost didn’t let him buy because he might have a screw loose but he seemed lucid.”

    “More so than you might believe.” Ralph said. “I too believe big changes are coming and that we have to prepare for it. Nibibu is a conspiracy theory by the way. It is known as Planet X and is thought to be a planet-sized object or dwarf brown star that could collide with or pass by real close. A collision of course would be an ELE, but even if it passed by close it could cause a pole-shift.”

    “Tell me you aren’t buying into this bunk.”

    “If we had a pole-shift or planet collision it probably wouldn’t do any good to prep so no, I’m really more worried about reality. Just got through watching the news. Depressing. North Korea is puffing up making noise again, threatening everyone, specifically the US and South Korea. Israel is continually rumored to be about to attack Iran. China and Russia are getting cozy. Iran either has or is close to having nuclear weapons as well as a missile that could reach the West Coast. Libya, Syria, Egypt all have governments have fallen and are being replaced by extremist Islamic groups wanting to impose Sharia Law on the world. Islam is dedicated to the eradication of all non-Islamic people through either conversion or death. Global Warming may or may not be real but there is a doozy of a hurricane that just formed in the Gulf threatening Florida. The political system here has finally stagnated into an unworkable mess with both sides putting partisanship politics over the health and well-being of the American people. The economic recession and errant spending that the last administration started and that the current administration renewed with zest is only rushing events to their inevitable conclusion, and that is a total collapse.” Ralph finally paused to take a sip of his crown.

    “Ralph, you are hurting my head. Haven’t we always been in some crisis or another?”

    “Empires have yes, for example the Roman Empire, but the American Empire is just a few hundred years old. We have left the concept our founding fathers established and are headed down the road to perdition. FDR started us down this progressive road where more and more people have a sense of entitlement, a sense of dependence on the government to provide all things. Did you know that forty-seven percent of Americans do not pay a federal income tax? We have torn apart the social fabric, the ties that bind. There are insurmountable problems in this country.”

    “America has always been a great country. We’ve faced supposedly insurmountable problems in the past and American ingenuity and know-how have always overcome them.” Doug defended.

    “Not this time.” Ralph countered. “We have immigrants coming to this country, both legal and illegal that come here to live the American Dream, only in this version they establish a culture just like the one they left. Doesn’t make sense to me, if things were so great where they were why did they come here? They want to take part in capitalism while at the same time putting down everything America stands for which include capitalism. They want to kill the very thing they came here for. Even an animal won’t mess in its own nest. The illegals come here to escape poverty, crime and corruption. They want a better life. Yet they bring their crime and corruption with them. Politicians won’t do anything because they have become an important voting bloc.”

    “I didn’t think you could vote if you were illegal.”

    “Hell, you can vote if you are dead if you use the leftist’s model. But it’s not just votes, its money, influence, lobbying, and don’t forget, many of them become Americans simply because they are born here. Their population replacement rate is two to three times that of the indigenous people here so it won’t be too long before they will overwhelm the infrastructure with sheer numbers. Did you know that in 1970 we had 203 million people in this country? In 1973, the American people moved to a below replacement level fertility or fewer than 2.1 kids per woman. There has been as much population growth from immigration as there has been from internal growth. Because of immigration California needs to be a new school for every single day in perpetuity. The US takes in about one million immigrants a year to rescue them from their poverty. How many people in the world deserve being rescued? Take Mexico for example. 25% of immigrants come from Mexico. The average Mexican makes about one-tenth the amount of money the average American makes. That’s poor. You probably think that is deserving of our compassion. How many in the world are poorer than the average Mexican? 4.6 Billion People are poorer. We can’t host all those people here, if there is to be any help at all, it has to be where they live. We are losing our cultural identity. I think we are adrift concerning our morals, values, culture and direction as a nation.”

    “I can see how that might be a problem but a total collapse?”

    “The economy alone is enough to sink us. This administration has doubled, make that quadrupled the deficit and spending to the point where we will soon be spending the equivalent of our GDP on interest payments alone. That means we will not every be able to pay it off. We have an aging population, the Baby Boomers that are going to need more and special care and we have fewer people to support them in the work force, all this at a time when the Government made a forced takeover of Healthcare with a bill written by leftist extremists that will at best cost the average American more and at worst, collapse the entire Health system. Lord knows how we ever came to this point, where we have Communists in the White House but we do.”

    “You paint a pretty bleak picture, do I cut my wrists now or finish the Crown and then do it? What can we do against such extremes?”

    “You want to know what we can do?” Ralph asked.

    “Yes.”

    “Absolutely nothing.”

    “Then why are we even worrying about it. That’s like worrying that a nuke is going to fall on your house, not much point in worry about that because there is nothing you can do.”

    “With a nuke you are right. I said there was nothing you could do to change the situation, but there are things you can do in reacting to the situation. For example you can prepare.”

    “How could you possibly prepare for everything from EMPs to CMEs to nukes, to natural disasters, to government made disasters, you can’t prepare for everything.” Doug asked. He swallowed the rest of his Crown and got up and filled the two glasses, not bothering with a shot glass to measure.

    “You can prepare as much as possible within your means for the contingencies you believe you can survive. You don’t worry about the ones you can’t survive, you worry about the ones you can.” Ralph grabbed the remote and unmuted it. CNN still had the hurricane coverage on. “Look at the Floridians for example. They are putting up plywood over their windows. They are stocking up on supplies such as batteries, water, food, ice. Note by-the-way that the store shelves are mostly empty just two days after the tropical storm was named a hurricane and the projected target was Florida. Many of these people have lived through hurricanes before. They have weathered storms sometimes escaping all damage and sometimes being wiped out. They prepare because they have hope for survival. If a category five hurricane struck in the right area it could devastate the entire state. Plywood meant to prevent windows from shattering wouldn’t do much when the entire home is blown away. But they hope it won’t be that strong, it won’t hit their particular home, it won’t continue to strengthen, they hope for the best. Just as we should hope for the best, we can prepare for situations that we might live through and need to be prepared for on the other side.”

    As if to underscore Ralph’s point, the CNN banner announced that Hurricane Vicky just strengthened into a category four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

    “Vicky looks to pack quite a wallop.” Doug said in part changing the subject.

    “Yeah, the forecast is for it to continue to strengthen.” The hurricane season had produced quite a few named storms but most had not been severe or missed the continental United States altogether. Vicky was making a beeline toward Florida. It looked to enter at St. Petersburg but it was growing so big the entire state would be affected.

    Ralph said “I know we’ve talked about a lot of possibilities in the last few weeks, some of them woo woo, some of them plausible. The bottom line is, what it could hurt to be prepared. Spend a little extra money, time to ensure you could be somewhat prepared for some of the scenarios.”

    “Except for those of us with limited income, wouldn’t that take away from getting on with our lives or at least interfere? Say for example Susan and I were to get married.” Doug paused for effect and it worked, Ralph’s eyebrows raised but he didn’t say anything. “Just suppose.” Doug went on. “We had kids, we bought and house and did the things all newly formed families do, there wouldn’t be much money left over for things that might or might not happen so I have to spend on reality.”

    Ralph grinned asking “Is this your way of hitting me up for a raise?”

    Doug laughed. “Now that you mention it!”

    Ralph said “Agreed to an extent. But say instead of buying lunch every day you skipped a couple and bought a prep item. Or say the worst did happen and now you have to not only provide for your wife and kids but defend them. You’re priorities would change, right?”

    “I suppose they would have to.”

    “By the way Ralph, what are you doing with the contractors?”

    “Just a few improvements. Like that wall and gate on the entrance to the ranch, I’m extending the wall all the way around the house, all the way around an acre actually.”

    “Wow that has to be expensive.”

    “Yes, but it could mean the difference between surviving and not.”

    “Isn’t that taking the prepping exercise a bit too far?”

    “Only if you can’t afford it and I can.”

    Susan came home looking all tired. Doug got up and kissed her.

    “I’ll be right back, I’m going to go take a shower, I must have given twenty dogs a bath and I smell like wet dog now.” She worked for a no-kill animal shelter for the last six months and truly cared about the homeless animals.

    “We’ll be here.”

    Ralph had gotten up and poured them another drink.

    “One more of those and I’ll be sleeping on the couch.” Doug said but took the drink anyway.

    “I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something Doug.”

    “Shoot, you have my undivided attention as long as you’re buying the drinks.

    “You see the wall going up, it is going to enclose about two acres.”

    “Really, that much, why.”

    “I’m getting to that. I’m building some cabins and I’d like you to move into one.”

    “What are you doing, opening a KOA Campground?”

    “You’ve heard my views on prepping. I’m real worried about the way things are going. We are one step, one event away from needing those preps.”

    “What do you think is going to happen?”

    “That is the thing with prepping. You prep in case something happens. It’s kind of like insurance, you are betting something is going to happen and the insurance company is betting that it isn’t.”

    “So why do you want me to move here.”

    “When things go bad, they will go bad quickly. I’m not being altruistic, I need to establish a little community here. I’ll need you to help. If the shit hits the fan like I expect it to, we will need numbers. We will have to have enough people to stand watches, to go on work details where one works, the other stands lookout. We’ll have to try and recruit like-minded people with a hard work ethic that will follow the rules we set out. I’m not going to sugar-coat it, life will be tough.”

    “Might be a good time to ask Susan to marry me, she wasn’t ready the last time I brought it up, maybe she’s changed her mind.”

    “You know you have my blessing from the last time you asked me for her hand.” Ralph said.

    “I’m writing some rules, a constitution if you will.” Ralph got up and retrieved a folder. I printed this out for you. I’d like you to review it and let me know what you think.”

    “Sure, I’ll look it over tonight.”

    Susan came down looking all refreshed. “Hi guys, how are things going?”

    Ralph said “Pretty good. I just agreed to give you away again.”

    Susan looked over at Doug. “Aren’t you supposed to ask me first?”

    “Sure. How about marrying me?”

    “Is that all you’ve got? You’d better work on the delivery. Not quite ready but thanks for asking.” She said that like she was a hostess telling a customer to come back and see them.

    Doug said “I’ll work on it.”

    “What’s going on there?” Susan pointed at the muted television.

    Ralph unmuted it.

    The announcer in typical style wore his rain gear with the ocean as a backdrop. It wasn’t raining yet and Vicky was still two days out. Forecasters were afraid she would continue to strengthen. The Governor issued a mandatory evacuation order and I75 and I95 were already parking lots. The television cut to an interview where the elderly homeowner told him he wasn’t leaving, that he’d been in plenty of hurricanes and he’d made it through them. The next story showed cars on I75 that had run out of gas. The lady in the Lexus SUV with two kids had been in line for eight hours trying to leave the state and finally ran out of gas. Motorists up and down the Interstate were running out of gas, some getting out of the way and some not.

    “That looks really bad, those poor people.” Susan said.

    “I think I’d have stayed home too, rather than get in all that traffic.” Ralph said.

    “Knowing you, you would have been totally prepared for it.”

    They ordered some pizza and watched the continue drama unfold.
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, America’s Second President

  31. #31
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    This is excellent. MOAR! MOAR! (heh, you might rue the day you decided to post this story here!) Ever thought about publishing your story on Amazon?

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  32. #32
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    Yes I am hooked and love to read so pleaseeeeeeeee moar.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGTech View Post
    This is excellent. MOAR! MOAR! (heh, you might rue the day you decided to post this story here!) Ever thought about publishing your story on Amazon?
    I will have to check on what is involved with that, I would love to have my own ISBN number
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, America’s Second President

  34. #34
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    Sunday finally came, Doug’s only day off. He loved his work but he loved his time off as well. Ralph only asked him once if he’d read the rules Ralph had printed for him. He sat down on his couch looking at all the stuff he’d have to move after agreeing to move in a cabin on Ralph’s land. He opened the folder. The first page only had one word on it. TEOTWAWKI. He puzzled over it until he figured out The End Of The World As We Know It.

    “That’s appropriate.” he said to no one in particular.

    He started reading.

    The world is at a tenuous spot. Though the Bible says no man shall know when the end times are, they must surely be close. We are at a tipping point, any one of a dozen events could derail the world onto the fast track to chaos and anarchy. If such an event occurs, national, regional, and local infrastructure will be overwhelmed at best, non-existent at worse. When people can’t go to the local grocery store, when they can’t feed their families, they will go looking for what they need. They will try to take what they want and there won’t be any laws to stop them. If they have to they will kill you and these are the nice people¸ your neighbors, friends and coworkers. Roving gangs will form loose knit associations as long as it benefits them, they will overwhelm individuals and small groups very easily so the concept of the compound I’m creating is there is safety in numbers. We need to recruit people with different skills and abilities. All infrastructure will be gone. There won’t be any hospitals, doctors, nurses, everyone will be on their own. We will have to hunt, fetch water¸ I’m going to have a well drilled. We need security at all times. We will have to maintain or make any supplies and tools that we need. We will go back to living off the land but there will be other people trying to compete for the same resources. The compound will provide a barrier between the members and the rest of the world. Many people will want to join the compound but they have to have the right stuff, they have to be able to follow the rules we set forth. The rules are necessary for keeping us safe and allowing us to survive. This won’t be a democracy where people vote, it will be command driven by me and you. So here are some rules I’ve put together.

    Rule 1: What you or I say goes. We make the rules. If anyone doesn’t like it I will invite them to leave.

    Rule 2: We will develop methods in everything we do and those methods must be followed. For example going outside the compound people must be accompanied by one or more security members. No exceptions.

    Rule 3: If anyone does anything to compromise the safety and security of the compound they will be banished.

    Rule 4: Everyone contributes. No exceptions. It will be tough to survive and everyone needs to pitch in as much as they can.

    Rule 5: No one steals from the compound. Caught stealing from the compound or from another member, they will be banished.

    You get the idea, we will have to have hard rules for hard times.

    Doug wasn’t sure what to think. Part of him believed that Ralph was going overboard with this prepping and compound but he watched the local news, followed the internet and the conversations he’d been having lately just about had him convinced Ralph was right.

    The second to last page contained a list of events that weren’t in any given order.

    Comet or Asteroid collision
    X Class Sun Spot
    Super Volcano Eruption
    Pole Shift
    Earthquakes especially New Madrid and California
    Economic
    National Economic collapse
    Global Economic collapse
    Bank run
    Currency devaluation
    Derivative meltdown
    Hyperinflation
    Civil war in the United States – various reasons like class and race divisions
    Attacks from foreign country
    Biological attack
    EMP
    Nuclear
    Disasters - alien invasion,black hole Nibiru or Dark Planet, chemical spill, energy disruption, pandemic, famine, fire, flood, food, hurricanes, tornados, nuclear power plant accident, oil spill, pole shift, total collapse of the ozone layer, power outage or failure of the grid, riots, anarchy, transportation strike, tsunami likely caused by Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma island, water contamination either accidental or sabotage.

    The last page contained a list of possible prep items.





    “I bet Ralph has all these items already.”




    Prep List


    Faraday cage for select electronics
    Coffee Pot – a must
    12v Light Bulbs
    Motion Sensors
    Wireless Camera transmitters
    Night vision goggles
    CB Radio
    Ham Radio
    Flashlights
    Candles
    Solar Panels
    Inverters
    Deep cycle Batteries
    Voltmeter
    Copper tubing
    Solar Oven
    Variety of tents
    Bic lighters
    Binoculars
    Boot Spikes – for climbing trees
    Water Filter
    Fire Starters
    Canteens
    Fishing Gear
    Gloves
    Kevlar Vest
    Potassium Iodate
    Radiation meters
    Rope
    Waterproof matches
    Medications, especially antibiotics, sun screen, and pain killers
    Guides:
    First Aid, Gardening, how to manuals, etc.
    Seeds of all kinds
    Fertilizer
    Weapons – bows, crossbows, arrows, black powder, reloading equipment, brass of all calibers, knifes, knife sharpener
    Mace, Tazers
    Large selection of food and spices, especially non-perishable
    Building supplies – glues, wires, boards, sandpaper, hardware including nails, screws, hooks
    Tools – Manual and powered saws, drills, welders, torches, hammers, hatchets and axes, hoes, rakes, and shovels
    Hygiene supplies
    Gasoline, kerosene
    Generators
    Insect and vermin control
    Pots, pans and utensils



    “Start of a pretty good list.” He thought.
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, America’s Second President

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  36. #36
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    Florida

    Virtually every television in the nation tuned into the same thing, Hurricane Vicky set to make landfall. Every channel had a variation of the hurricane theme. Some were explaining the basics like a hurricane is a tropical cyclone with low pressure usually formed in the tropics and rotates in a counterclockwise direction. Most themes usually had the weather person dressed in rain ponchos leaning into the wind but since upgrading to a category five that was not possible in most cases. Typical scenes were from inside a building where the background showed horizontal rain and palm trees either bent double or being uprooted and flying away. They would then go into the well-known Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale describing of category One through Category Five. A Category Five Hurricane with sustained winds greater than 155 mph headed toward Tampa Bay. Vicky current blew at 176 mph. The projection put the path traveling right through the bay devastating St Petersburg and marching right through Tampa. Interstate 275 shutdown hours earlier followed by a shutdown of Interstate 75 forced massive lines of cars trying to flee to go south instead. Most headed across the state toward Fort Lauderdale.

    One brave weatherman, Les Holtz chained himself to a porch railing and yelled into a microphone, the cameraman probably under an awning or some cover.

    Les shouted “This storm is probably the most dangerous storm to ever hit Tampa, maybe even Florida itself.”

    The wind lifted him off his feet at that point slamming him back into the railing. He would have sailed into oblivion aside from the chain. “People, livestock, and pets should be indoors as the risk of injury or death from flying or falling debris has never been higher. He obviously cared more for ratings than his own advice. Stay away from all windows. Frame houses can easily be destroyed in this wind. Mobile homes don’t have a chance. Large amounts of debris will be in the air. Commercial signs will be destroyed and power lines will be down. Les proved to be a prophet as a two-by-four came flying through the air piercing his stomach leaving half of the board on either side of him. Just as blood started to flow from his mouth, his eyes bugged out in surprise, the network cut the feedback to the anchors.

    Most buildings were forced to comply with a category three storm. No one was prepared for a category five. The bay being in high-tide made matters much worse with the storm-surge. News stations covered in depth previous category five hurricanes in the Atlantic noting this storm surpassed storms such as the 2003 Isabel, the 2004 Ivan, the 2005 Emily, the 2005 Katrina, the 2005 Rita, the 2005 Wilma, the 2007 Dean and the 2007 Felix. Hurricane Andrew held the previous record in terms of the cost of the damage done. Hurricane Andrew in 1992 struck the Northwestern Bahamas, southern Florida south of Miami and cause $26.5 billion in damage.

    _________________________________________________

    Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Steele, Commander of the C-130 Hurricane Hunter just flew into the eye of Vicky. His co-pilot, Major John Rivers looked over at him, eyes wide.

    “Worst I’ve ever been through.” John said.

    “Let’s just stay in the eye.” Kevin joked. The plane made uncharacteristic creaking noises.

    “Pegged the meters, can’t wait to see what the backside does to us.”

    Typically the backside held worse winds because of the counter-clockwise rotation.

    The plane started to dip, bump and skip so they turned back to business getting the barometric pressure, temperature, and wind speed readings.

    “Whoa.” The colonel said as the plane simultaneously plunged and turned sideways. Flying sideways wasn’t exactly covered in flight school and its effects very unsettling on a pilot. Scientists were strapped into the red fabric benches along the sides of the cargo hold where the unfinished ceiling is crisscrossed with bundles of white wires and tubes wrapped in pale green fabric blankets. The toilet is behind a green curtain with an ample supply of motion-sickness bags for even the most seasoned hurricane hunters. A sudden gust flipped them sideways again and then upside down. The captain tried to regain control but was at the mercy of the winds tossing the plane about. After plunging a thousand feet upside down and backwards, two of the engines flamed out. They never had a chance after that and communications were lost shortly after that.

    ______________________________________

    Julie fretted over being out in her Jeep Wrangler as the storm hit. She lost her resolve to stick it out in her apartment complex but she left too late. She got stuck in the long traffic jam and then I295 closed down. As the storm surge picked her car and tumbled it off the freeway she thought that was the last bad decision she would make. She was right along with hundreds of other cars swept up by the surge.

    __________________________________________________ _____

    Troy honked his horn in frustration at the sea of red tail lights in front of him. Windshield wipers on full, they still couldn’t keep up with the whipping rain and debris flying buy. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge started to sway in the gusts. At first just a little bit, then more and more. The lack of visibility probably saved Troy a small amount of anxiety since he couldn’t see the collapsing bridge sections heading for him until his section collapsed and he plunged into the Bay with hundreds of other vehicles.

    __________________________________________________ ___

    Commercial buildings and homes could not withstand the incredible winds. The storm took its vengeance leveling all buildings in St Petersburg and propelling the debris even further inland. It seemed the storm navigated Interstate 4 destroying much of Tampa, Kissimmee and Orlando. The magic kingdom held no sway disappearing from Orlando. To add insult to injury the storm started veering slightly north as if it wanted to travel up Interstate 95. The East Coast of Florida now became the target of nature’s destructive force. Cape Canaveral Buildings disappeared. New Smyrna, Daytona to Jacksonville became mounds of destroyed property and lives. The counter-clockwise winds pushed the storm surge thousands of feet past the shoreline. The average Florida elevation is 100 feet and the storm surge pushed water close to that. Ninety percent of the land from Key Largo to Key West washed away in the storm surge. The Everglades would never recover from the ferocious beating, winds and storm surge. Florida slowed Vicky down to a category four until she reached the Atlantic. Traveling over water from Jacksonville to Charleston, she strengthened into a five again. Vicky wreaked havoc all along the East coast until Virginia Beach where she decided she would go back out to sea.
    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
    -John Adams, America’s Second President

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by dstraito View Post
    it is double spaced in word but I've tried saving it in pdf, word, html and in each case when I cut and paste the formatting gets lost

    I have written the whole book but I was only posting the pages after I do an edit. I'll post another section today.
    by "double" I meant double the double. LOL! oh I'm sure you'll do fine...I'm gonna read it HOWEVER you get it on here!!! lol!

  38. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    1,273
    Here's what I did with the first chapter to make it easier for me to read. I know it's not proper paragraphs but it made it easier for me to keep track of where I was.


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    He lined up his shot, looking through his Millett Tactical Long Range scope. His breath visible in the sub-freezing weather coming out in little flumes as he alternately held his breath and exhaled. The crosshairs lined up perfectly with the left shoulder. He watched as the magnificent buck raised his head, looked around and then lowered it, expelling smoke from its mouth as well.
    “Take the shot.” Ralph whispered.
    Doug twisted his head popping his neck with an audible crack. He settled back in ensuring the crosshairs were still lined up. He gently applied pressure to the trigger of his Remmington Model 700 CDL Bolt Action 30-06. The Rifle had been the only thing he inherited from his dad. Well, the rifle and the Whitetail Skinner Knife.
    “What are you waiting for?”
    Doug looked over at his future father-in-law. “I can’t do it.”
    “Why not? You can easily make a 100 yard shot, you outshot me at the range last week.”
    “If I couldn’t buy meat at the grocery store, if I had to for survival, I could do it. If it made the difference between putting food on the table and starving, I could easily take it down.”
    Doug looked back through the scope showing the eight pointer. “Isn’t it magnificent?”

    Doug startled when the shot rang out from beside him and the trophy buck crumbled to the ground.
    “We are putting food on the table.” Ralph said gruffly.
    They walked over to the animal carrying their rifles. Their feet made crunching noises in the sparse snowfall on the ground. The snow, normal for this time of year just north of Albuquerque was starting to melt. The buck lay in a heap, no more vapors coming out of its mouth but steam rising from the rapidly cooling body.
    “How are you going to protect my daughter if you can’t provide for her?” Ralph asked.
    “I am providing for her, I work full time for you so you know that as well as I do.” Doug said.
    “Working as a manager in my sporting goods store is not the same as being able to provide when the infrastructure goes away.”
    Doug rolled his eyes. He knew what was coming. Ralph believed that America and the rest of the world would soon reach a tipping point that would cause chaos and anarchy and you had to prepare for it.
    Instead of the lecture they reached the fallen buck.
    “Bout 300 pounds I reckon.” Ralph said.

    Doug looked at the big round black eyes and inwardly thought “I’m sorry big fella.”
    “Go ahead and field dress him.” Ralph said.
    As much as Doug didn’t want to kill the animal, in fact, had a thing about killing one of GODs creatures in general, he also didn’t want to disappoint Ralph. Ralph showed him how to field dress a deer the last time they went out and this was supposed to be his deer, his trophy. He slid the Whitetail Skinner Knife from its scabbard and bent down to the deer. He saw Ralphs’ shadow in the early morning sun crossing over him and the buck. He inserted the knife at the bottom of the sternum and made the initial incision keeping the blade positioned toward the hide so he wouldn’t cut through the organs. He inserted his fingers in a “V” like Ralph showed him the weekend before and gently pulled up on the hide. He continued the cut going around both sides of the udder and cut the penis and testicles out. “Sucks to be you.” Doug thought, then amended with “Sucks to be me.” He finished rolling the internal organs out of the abdominal cavity and cleaning the cavity out.
    They hung the deer from a tree branch with the head down and the tail up to drain the carcass and cool down the meat.
    They went to get the ATV for transporting the buck mostly in silence. Doug was sure Ralph was disappointed in him, at least for not shooting, even though he complimented him on the field dressing.

    They loaded up the buck in the trailer and started the long trip from New Mexico to Clay’s Processing and Smoke House in Dublin Texas. Even though they lived in Paradise Texas, Ralph swore by the processor and agreed with their motto “The Best Deer Processor in Texas”.
    “Why are we going to Dublin again, isn’t there a processor closer to Paradise?” Doug asked.
    “Clay’s is the best. Besides, that is where my father always processed his deer.”
    “Okay.” Doug said feeling a little nervous about extending the time spent in Ralph’s blue Ford F250. He feared a lecture was coming and he didn’t have to wait very long. They left the lease in Rio Honda and traveled south through Albuquerque to Interstate 40.
    Heading East Ralph grunted a compliment. “Good job on the dressing.”
    “Thanks.” Doug said wincing at the thought of the almost 600 miles to Dublin and the almost 100 miles to Paradise.
    “You know..” Ralph started. “You need to make your first kill.”
    “Why Ralph? I can buy food from Marin’s” Marin’s Most Extraordinary Market as they advertised was an independent grocery store in Paradise.
    “You can’t get Venison there.”
    “Yeah, well, I’ve got you for that, don’t I?”
    Ralph chuckled “I guess so.”

    Doug rubbed his chin and finally said “Why do you think we will be in a position where we would have to hunt our own food?”
    “I’m not saying anything is going to happen. I’m just sayin’ it could. Have you ever hear of playing the ‘What if’ game?”
    “Okay, let’s play Ralph. What could happen?”
    Ralph nodded. “There are lots of things that could happen. There could be an attack from Russia or China sparking a nuclear confrontation leading to World War III. There could be an asteroid collide with the world, hell, one could hit my ranch in Paradise.”
    “We’ve had the threat of a cold war for decades and nothing has happened.”
    “Yes, but we are not evaluating the chances, we are just playing the ‘What If’ game. It could happen.”
    “Not likely but I guess it could.”
    “If it did, pretty much all infrastructure would be wiped out and at least for a period of time, people would be on their own.”
    “But you are living in fear, that’s not a way to live your life and if that happened you probably wouldn’t want to be around anyway.”
    Ralph looked over sharply. “But let’s say an ELE happens and you are one of the ones to survive, along with your loved ones, like my daughter.”
    “What is an ELE?” Doug asked.
    “Extinction Level Event. This means a global event that could potentially wipe out everything living on earth or it could mean wiping out everything in a given region. For example a super volcano could erupt causing the sun to be blocked making everything die within a short period of time. A CME could be severe enough to disrupt communications and possibly all things electric throwing mankind back to the 19th century.”

    “A CME?”
    “Coronal mass ejection.”
    Doug looked confused.
    “A magnetic pulse from the sun where the force pushes the magnetic field of the Earth aside.”
    Doug said “I thought those happened everyday.”
    “They do, just as volcanos do, but super volcanoes don’t erupt daily just as the most powerful class of CMEs don’t go off daily. There was a solar superstorm in 1859 which came to be known as the Carrington Event. This was the most powerful solar storm ever recorded and the largest flare. You can imagine, 1859 was technologically primitive but telegraph systems all over Europe and North America failed, in some cases even shocking telegraph operators. Telegraph terminals sparked and telegraph paper spontaneously caught fire in some cases. Now fast forward, what do you think would happen if it went off today.”
    “Uh, telegraph paper would catch fire but it wouldn’t be a big deal since we don’t use telegraphs anymore?”
    “No, smartass, it would fry almost all electronics everywhere. Think of living like the Amish.”
    “All electronics?”
    “Unless they were EMP protected like with a Faraday cage.”
    “Jeez, what is with all the acronyms, what the heck is EMP and what is a Farawhatever cage?”
    “EMP or Electromagnetic Pulse. The Faraday cage has to have all metal sides connected to each other without any large gaps with the components inside not touching the sides.”
    “Good grief Ralph, how do you even know all this stuff and more importantly why?”
    “Oh there is a lot more we could ‘What If’ about.”
    “I’m not sure I want to know anymore. Like 1001 ways to kill somebody. Wouldn’t the first ten or twenty do?”
    They were silent for the next half hour.

    Ralph finally spoke. “EMP’s are just from the sun, like the Carrington Event. They could be manmade and used by a foreign country to devastate a region or potentially the entire United States.”
    “Who would do that Ralph?”
    “North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, and any of a host of other countries that hate the good ole USA.”
    “Okay, Russia and China I see might have the ability but those others? How could they deliver such a blow, their missiles won’t even reach the continental US?”
    “They wouldn’t have to, they could detonate a relatively small device say on Wall Street and render most of New York electronically impotent. Look at what they did on a small scale on 9-11.”
    “You call 9-11 a small scale?”
    “Comparatively, yes.”
    “Okay, so this EMP thing goes off and we are living like the Amish, would that be so bad, they seem pretty idyllic, living off the land in peace and harmony and singing Kumbaya?”
    “You know that grocery stores on the average only have three days of food right?”
    Doug hesitated then answered “Um, yeah.”
    “What happens when those three days runs out? Have you ever seen an area about to be dealt a blow by mother nature, a hurricane coming, a severe snowstorm, a flood, an electricity outage? People swarm the stores like locusts. They buy more than they need because of the fear of not being able to get those goods when they really need them. They hoard. When the food and goods run out and people need them what do you think they will do?”
    “Wait for the government to restore the infrastructure and the supplies resume? Maybe they borrow from neighbors, friends and family until the emergency is over.”
    “What if the government is so overwhelmed it can’t do anything, especially say in a small town like Paradise Texas? What then?”
    “People can hunt like we just did.”
    “Really? You think people that have never been hunting can just locate a weapon, cleanly shoot a deer, field dress it, process it and go on about their lives. Hell, you couldn’t even shoot one when you had it lined up in your sights.”
    “I could have, I just didn’t want to.”
    They stopped for gas in Amarillo and ate at IHOP. The tarp covering the buck blew open a bit much to the chagrin of the family getting into a car next to where they parked. Their son who looked to be about ten pointed and said “Look, they killed Bambi.” After eating in silence they proceeded on Interstate 287.

    Ralph broke the serenity again. “What do you think happens after the food runs out?”
    “People get hungry?”
    “Again with the wisecracks. Some will have some extra provisions, many will not. You will have friends, relatives, and strangers coming to your door all asking for a handout because they didn’t prepare.”
    “So you give them a cup of Top Ramien noodles and send them on their way?”
    “No, you turn them away. It’s cold and hard but you have to do it.”
    “I don’t think I could.”
    “There was a study done a while back, I don’t remember who did it but the gest of it studied a family of four that played the ‘What If’ game and had stashed a source of food enough for all four for one year. They analyzed the amount of food and the average neighborhood and determined that the family with the food turned away everyone they could survive for a year, if they shared with their immediate neighborhood the food would last from two to three weeks.”
    “Wow. I never thought of it like that.”
    “Would you refuse Susan and/or any kids you might have the opportunity to live through a crisis, maybe it would take a year or longer for things to get reestablished, so would you take her survival time down to three weeks from one year.”
    “I don’t guess so.”
    “Then you would be turning people away. And they would be angry. And that is family and friends. Wait until roving bands of people that already ravaged their immediate area come through your area. You are not only going to have to turn them down but you are going to have to protect what you do have. Anything that they want that someone else has they will try to take by force. Remember, if there is a local law enforcement at all, they will be overwhelmed and/or trying to survive with their own families. They might try to use their positions of power to coerce you into giving them what they need to survive. You have to forcibly protect what is yours against all foes, both known and unknown.”
    “You’ve given me a lot to think about Ralph.”
    “I hope so.”

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    East Central WI
    Posts
    556
    Great story, I'm anxiously awaiting more!

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    1,273
    Very good story. Can't wait for the action........well action other than what takes place at the Sonic.

    Wonder how that will play out?

    Thanks

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