Defending the farm

It’s been a tough couple of weeks.  Since all the police got called to the cities, a lot of small towns in the area broke out of quarantine and folks went looking for a bunch of stuff they didn’t have: food, clean water, safe shelter away from the riots, and a lot of them started looking in the farms not too far from the towns.  I guess a few of them had escaped the cities, too, and I got to be really careful of them – not only are they almost definitely carrying the flu, they’re probably either on anti-virals or steroids and all those other drugs the rumors say might help, drugs that incidentally lower capacity for rational thinking and increase aggression.  They take this shit thinking, what?  If they can prolong their suffering a little a cure will be developed and folks’ll bring it them on a plate before the end?  And in the meantime, they continue to go breaking into homes and stores, spreading the flu to everyone they touch.  Perhaps they are the walking dead.  They want brains, alright.

A few times over the last couple of weeks I’ve driven groups of them off the farm with a rifle.  I don’t have the best security – we’ve never really needed a lot of alarms or cameras here before – but I built up the fences a little and concreted some broken glass on top where there’s no barbed wire, and I get a good view of the gate from my loft window.  It’s so quiet round here now, the gravel path is as good as a burglar alarm.  And yeah, I know I’m not the first to have to deal with raiders, and that some are just ordinary families trying to get by, but with drug-crazed infected psychos around I can’t afford to take chances.  I figure there’s no point blowing my supplies on folks who’ll be dead in a few days, either.  It’s selfish, I know, and it’s not that I’ve got anything against these people, but I owe it to my parents to look out for myself.  What was the point in them shutting me out of the house as they died if I’m only going to open myself up to infection from every stranger who comes by?

I’ve put up warning signs, and I give two warning shots before I aim to kill.  I can’t afford to waste more ammo than that, and anybody not taking the hint I figure is either determined enough to deserve what they get or desperate enough that it’s a mercy.  They’ve mostly run at the first shot, but a couple who came snooping today started shooting back.  Thankfully, they only had short-range pistols, and they misjudged where my shots had come from, anyhow.  The second warning shot might have given away my vantage point, but it hit close enough to make them run for cover behind the garage.  I knew they couldn’t sneak out to the gate or the house without me seeing, so I watched till nightfall.  When I first saw the creeping shadow I thought it was a raccoon, but then I saw it was too big, and I took aim.  I hit the water butt three feet away, but I can repair it tomorrow, and it had the right effect – two shadows ran full pelt for the gate and didn’t come back.

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22 thoughts on “Defending the farm

  1. You’ll excuse me if I have more sympathy for the poor buggers caught behind a shed all night than with the lunatic taking aim at them from a window. It’s not going to be long before my family and I are – as you put it – “desperate enough that it’s a mercy”. I can only hope that if we go seeking refuge somewhere occupied we won’t be assumed infected and dismissed as zombies.

  2. Alright, let’s leave this now. I’m sure we all have more important things to do than antagonise the few people in the world we know we can trust. That wasn’t my intention. Whatever the reasons for your decision, Jack, I accept that you know your situation better than I do. I just want you to be aware of mine.

  3. Well, Jack is right that new infections are still very much an issue here in North America. Sad to say, but the people who have fallen ill in our area, like my neighbours with the chickens, are the ones who took in friends and family from further south down island or the mainland. Why haven’t we been getting more refugees lately? I’m not asking questions, but I assume someone is taking it upon themselves to turn them back.

    So, somehow, there is one survivor of that family. The six year old daughter was crying in the barn when I went down there the other day. Like Jack, she’s seen her whole family die around her and I think she’s been on her own for a couple days. So what could I do? I took her home.

    • Woah – harsh choice. I guess I’d have to do the same, or at least take her to somebody who’d be better, but it’s kinda risky. I hope she’s not infected. Aren’t all little kids, like, immune but carriers or something?

      • That’s not really how it works, Jack. Children are just as prone to infection and normally show symptoms as quickly as adults do, but the flu works its way through their systems more slowly (strangely, it’s precisely because their immune systems are weaker), and they have a better chance of developing antibodies and fighting it off before it becomes fatal.
        If her family have already died and she seems healthy, she’s probably already survived the flu. I can’t say for sure that she’s no longer infectious – it’s difficult to keep up with the latest research, for obvious reasons – but it’s no riskier taking in a child than any other apparently healthy person.

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