Got a rather unpleasant surprise this morning.
Billy and Mike brought down a couple of deer early this morning before the rest of us were up. Mike says that early morning is the best time for deer so they were out at three am. We have moved into the Stockton Christian Church. It is large enough to house the few of us here and it is more defensible than most houses. Brick walls with small windows, good visibility all around. Got a generator up and running so we have power. There are several freezers in the basement kitchen, including a big walk-in, so we can actually stock up on fresh meat. But first we had to clean them out. We waited until the Freezers had been running a full 48 hours before hand before starting. Much easier on the stomach that way. I had them drive around back to unload. I didn't want Dee to walk in on them while they were butchering Bambi.
I thought there was something odd about the smaller doe while they were dragging it off the truck. But it was not until they were cutting it open that it clicked. Both Billy and Mike jumped back screaming when I opened fire on the already dead deer. But the little buggers were already ripping their way out. Once Billy saw what was happening he started screaming "Shit!" over and over as he pumped round after round into the deer's belly. Mike was just staring in horror. These were much bigger than the ones we dug out of Dee, and had a full set of claws. I'm afraid there was not much left of them for Katherine to study when we were done.
Of course the sudden gunfire drew everyone's attention. Dee started screaming as soon as she saw the carnage and Beverly quickly scooped her up and took her back into the church. Katherine ordered us to quickly bag the remaining buck up and put it in one of the big chest freezers. We didn't argue.
We bagged up what was left of the doe and burned the carcass before hosing off the rest of the blood. There is a hand pump on the church property that draws water from nearby ground water well. The church itself is supplied by the municipal water supply which comes from the lake. But without power nothing is coming from those pipes.
I went in to comfort Dee. She clung to me for a few minutes crying but quickly calmed down. She is very resilient. We stayed in the little Bible school nursery while she played with her doll house I got her for her birthday. I think she still holds out hope that me and Katherine will get married and be her new family.
Mike and Billy are going out again tomorrow to try again.
One good thing came from this morning's ruckus. Two more people joined our group. Pastor Tom Mills used to preach at a non-denominational church nearby and the other is a 20 something boy from down south. He doesn't seem to talk much and Pastor Tom says that he was half dead and strung out from meth when he found him.
Thomas Mills is an old school fire and brimstone preacher. I think the disappearance has shaken his faith a bit, though he is trying not to let it show. He is not arrogant enough to believe that he should have been taken bodily up to heaven when the Rapture came, but the events of the disappearance do not really fit what he has been preaching for years. I think he will survive.
I really don't know about his companion though. He calls himself Scratch and has a tattoo reading "Bad Dog" across his forehead. He has more tattoos and piercings than I can count and his hygiene is questionable at best. His eyes, which seemed almost dead when regarding the rest of us, lit up a little when he saw Emily. I half expected Emily to chase him off the church lot, but instead she greeted him like an old friend. So I guess he can stay.
The optic neuritis is getting worse in my left eye. Sometimes it feels like I have a Goddamn icepick stuck in there. And I have lost some peripheral vision. Katherine is giving me steroids to help bring the inflammation down but can't say when or even if my vision will get better. The steroids may be helping, but now I can't sleep. I found some books on the subject of MS and the problem with diagnosing it is that there are no exact set of symptoms. The list of possible symptoms are about a mile long. It has been referred to in some texts as a designer disease since it is different for all it's victims. But I have enough symptoms on the list to convince me that is probably what it is. Many of them I have been living with for years and just ignored them. But some of the challenges MS heaps on its victims are, well ... let's just say that if it gets to that point, I refuse to be a burden to anyone.
© 2009 R. Keith McBride