Don’t Feed the Trolls – Chapter 01
Just when she thought everything was finally settling down, Shelly is once again thrown into the fray. Her friends are stuck on the other side of the Mississippi River, with no weapons, no food, and no chance of survival without her help. Throw in the complete collapse of civilization, extremely limited technology, and hordes of zombies that are becoming more and more sentient every day…
Hey, no one said it was going to be easy, but where there’s a will, there’s a way, and Shelly made sure to update hers just before she left.
Please note: this work contains language and themes that may not be appropriate for young readers.
I know this isn’t what you wanted, and I’m sorry. You were right, I didn’t listen, but you have to remember: I’m an old dog. We don’t do new tricks very well. What this old dog does do well though, is recognize raw talent. I know you don’t see yourself as a leader, but I have complete faith in you.
I just have one (more) thing to ask of you: Take this journal with you. You have a unique way of looking at the world, and a long road ahead of you. I remember your last journal (yes, I read it. I’m sure you know that already), and it’s selfish, but I’m hoping you won’t mind sharing this one as well. Think of it as a favor for an old man?
May 21st, 2018
Dear General Williams,
May 22nd, 2018
Dear General Williams,
Okay, you know what? I thought about it, and honestly? Fuck you doesn’t even come close to cutting it. Do you have any idea how much crap I wouldn’t have to deal with if you people would just listen to me?
Evidence #1: I told Dick, “don’t feed the trolls.” He did it anyway, and now we have a small encampment of the fuckers about a mile away? Maybe two…they’re close to see from our new watchtower, and that’s too damn close, okay?
Evidence #2: I told Robin, “Hey, make sure Williams knows that the city people aren’t used to having to deal with fireplaces. There are too many houses close together at the fort, and there’s not enough trained firefighters.” Then a fire broke out and you idiots lost almost half the town! Yes, okay, fine, Robin did pass the message on, and yes, you started a training ground for the firefighters to start expanding their forces, but still! If you guys had maybe taught the citizens themselves to clean their flue and all that good stuff, like we told you to, you might not’ve lost so many people. As it was, you were damned lucky dad was there. If he hadn’t helped coordinate the rescue efforts, and kept the fire from spreading further, you guys would’ve been screwed blued and tattooed. As it is, he’s still recovering from the smoke inhalation. Because of you.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying dad and I have things in control here – we’ve had our share of mishaps in the town, too – but, ours was caused by a newbie, and it was quickly contained. Plus, dad had started all of our people on learning how to form a fire brigade before I even got here. Even after Gray and the others got us a better supply of water, we still had weekly drills, just as we had drills on different kinds of attacks (side note: good work on getting rid of that bandit camp – see, I can be fair!).
Anyway. Ugh, I thought I was done writing. I really did. I thought, I’m home. I’m safe…ish. I have a man, I have a kid, I have my family. I’m done. No more trapaising (traipasing? Yeah, I’m using a ten dollar word I can’t spell, shuddup) all over the countryside, dragging wagons and kids and just…no. I was done. History could now be wrote by people who actually know how to do it. Then you had to go and get it in your head that, hey, the satellites are still in orbit! That means there are people at NORAD keeping them in orbit….we should totally send a group of people on a cross country trip to completely dismantle NORAD’s facility and bring it back to North Carolina. On foot. In the middle of winter. Because, hey, why not? Besides, you know, all the many reasons I gave you.
I mean, look, I’m sorry, I get that it’s a kinda big deal. The satellites have been very useful for communicating with the other bases, and the whole weaponizing the satellites, would also be useful, but…not worth risking any necks, especially not my own. And you wanted me to go. Because I have “training” for that shit, are you freaking kidding me?! Getting from New York to North Carolina is not training. It was 85% sheer luck, 10% determination, and the remaining 5%….I don’t know. Preparation? Perspiration? You decide, the point is, there is no reason, whatsoever, for me to be making a cross country trip, when you have a battalion, or whatever they’re called, of soldiers you can deploy.
And that nonsense about a civilian presence? Really? “The army isn’t exactly looked upon very friendly when it comes to things like this, people see the uniforms and think “they’re coming to take us away!” and freak the fuck out,” and okay, yes. I can see that. I was leery about you guys, too, and our first meeting wasn’t all that great, so it’s a fair point, but you also have a couple police officers from the city, and you’ve all been training the civilians for the past six months, so it’s not like you have a shortage of civvies to send.
So I tell you “no.” And what do you do? You didn’t. fucking. listen. You put yourself a team together, including three of my best friends, and sent them on a wild goose chase down to Florida first, for some ungodly reason, and then off to Colorado. Three months ago. And then, oh, and then, you have the absolute gall to come to my home and tell me that this team, is stuck. They’re somewhere south of what’s left of St. Louis, no bridges available, and their supplies are almost gone.
I TOLD YOU THIS WOULD HAPPEN.
You sent them cross country on a wild goose chase with no back up. WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?! Especially when it was SPRING and you were sending them through TORNADO ALLEY. I get that you’re from California, and you’re not used to crappy weather, but hey, newsflash: spring + midwest = floods, random blizzards, and TORNADOES.
Do you have any idea how lucky you are that they haven’t had any direct hits yet?? The only reason I didn’t tell you to pound sand when you first showed up was cause I think you do realize how lucky you are. You look old, old man. Last time I saw you, you still had a spring in your step. This time…ugh, okay, no. I am not sympathizing. You brought this on yourself, and so what if Scott says I’m overreacting. Maybe I am, but it still comes down to the fact that we wouldn’t be having this problem if you had actually listened to me.
But hey, you’re getting your wish, aren’t you? Tomorrow, Scott and I are leaving Bridget with mom and heading over to the fort, right behind you. I’m going with the next team, but I’m going on my terms. I will be taking lead. I will accept counsel from whatever team of specialists you put together, but I call the shots in the end. You don’t like my price, you CAN go pound sand. I’ll go on my own.
Still pissed off,