For every $100 earned through donations and sales of the paperback books (via Amazon or Direct Buy) I will post the backstory of one of the characters in RDR!
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I was sitting beside the fire with Murphy and Fart, thankful I wasn’t on watch again. It was JC’s turn. Cutty was off snoring in D-Prime’s trailer and Lilly was across from us on Kylee’s lap. Both were sound asleep as well.
Now, Murphy’s never been one for idle chatter and small talk. In fact, that’s the reason everyone listens when he speaks. Truth is I needed to hear something other than a crackling, dying fire and the wails of the dead on the other side of the wall. So, I asked him about his time alone during the initial breakdown of all things societal.
Initially he wasn’t into the idea of talking about it. He actually said, “Blech, who cares, Sally? Those days are long gone.”
I can’t really tell you why I pressed him to spill it, but I did. This is what he told me…
“Fine, Sally, but I think you’ll find yourself disappointed. This ain’t exactly an epic tale of heroes and demons.
“See, kid, my Eleanor had been gone for a number of years, so being alone was nothing new. ‘Cept for Fart here that’s just the way things were for me. It’s always been easier that way, as if you couldn’t tell. This little group of ours is a perfect example of that. I like you all a little too much. Shit’s much easier when there’s nothing to care about.
“Sure, I missed out on some things like ‘holiday cheer’, the feel of a woman, and cookouts were boring as all hell… but, all things being equal, life was drama-free. That is until the panic started.
“I’ll never forget it. I felt the shockwave of the blast from the city almost immediately and took to the trees on my property. Long before I had to chop ‘em all down I had a nice little bird’s nest atop the tallest tree and a sweet little network of rope bridges and such. I used them to bounce from tree stand to tree stand to make the deer hunting easier. Anyhow, I took a look through the binoculars and saw smoke coming from around where the old distillery used to be. But that wasn’t all. There were fires everywhere and the air was filled the screams of emergency vehicles.
“I never really cared for what went on in the city. Hell, I only went into town once every couple of months for spare parts or fuel, and even then I stayed away from all the bullshit. My well kept me in water, my bow kept me and Fart fed, and the generator kept the lights on. That’s one thing you young kids never understood… until now, that is. You don’t need all that other shit. It’s just fluff. More to go wrong. More to miss. More shit for the people that want to take what’s yours.
“Ya see, Sally, that was my advantage. That’s really what kept me alive during those few weeks. I didn’t NEED anything. Everyone else panicked. I heard it on the TV. Not at first, to be honest, but eventually the curiosity got the best of me and fired up the old boob-tube to see what was happening. I heard them talkin’ about mad cow disease and genetically modified food, terrorists, chem trails, all that shit. They blamed it on everything but what it really was.
“I guess the hardest part was that I actually knew what it was. And they knew I knew. So, I started preparing for the day when they came. I knew they would either come to exterminate us all or to keep people like me quiet.
“First thing I did was barricade. No surprise there. That’s what everyone did. I made sure to give myself an exit, though, in case the place was crawling. Tell ya the truth, Sally, that was a waste of damn time. No one came. No one came for days… then weeks passed.
“I watched the dead take over Columbus from start to finish. Sad part was that they really didn’t have to do anything. It was the living that fucked themselves over. No one listened to their gut. No one could tear themselves away from the status quo long enough to save their own asses.
“As soon as the infrastructure began to collapse, so did the city. Law enforcement, firefighters, EMT’s all abandoned their posts in short order. Can’t blame them, really. They had families of their own. But rioters turned into looters turned into raiders turned into rapists turned into murderers turned into food for the dumb shits. And that’s it in a nutshell. There I was up on top of my little hill watching it like the Grinch watched Whoville.
“Sure, some scavengers came through after a while. I killed my first man from that front porch. Warned him and his people more times than I can count but they were desperate. Hungry. Said he was gonna take some things and be on his way, but I told him the only thing he was gonna take was a long nap if he stepped on my land one more time. Left me no choice when he drew down on me.
“That was the first time I saw a man turn. His people scattered when I shot him, like people tend to do. I gave it a few hours before I tried to move him off into the woods for the animals but he grabbed me by my foot and tried takin’ a chunk outta my ass. He woulda succeeded, too, if it wasn’t for Fart holdin’ him down. I musta shot that dumbshit a dozen times before I hit his head. That’s how I found out about the brain situation. I never woulda thought, based on my earlier studies, that the government would fuck it up that badly.
“The traps around the property, chopping the trees for visibility… all that shit was to keep people away… keep the raiders out. Then the jets flew over. I sat in that nest and watched them firebomb the entire city. Hordes of those dumbshits vaporized in seconds, and countless survivors no doubt holed up in shelters and stuff. All gone in a few passes. I remember being thankful they didn’t use the nukes. Wasn’t long before all the traps were catching dumbshits and nothing else.
“Except for this one group of assholes that fell into one of my deadfalls. But I suppose you know all about them, Sally.”