Jacob Pelley is a stock trader who professionally blogs over at WallStreet.io. He was inducted into the Rich Dad Education International Hall of Fame in 2012. His writing is inspired by a lifelong love of tabletop gaming and science fiction. Jacob is married with two children and resides in Fresno, California.
Today was more of the same as yesterday. Our boots sinking into the ground as we marched. More than a few times one of us had to be pulled from a pit. The near freezing muck making us shiver uncontrollably. My jaw aches from all the chattering it was doing. Everyday I miss the old world lived. It seems like not that long ago after a day of playing in the mud I could just walk back into our monster free house and take a warm shower. Just a few more days until we are back in Daikon. Where I can bathe, get a warm meal and rest. Or at least it was only going to be a few days until we found the SUV.
It was late in the afternoon when we reached the base of 50/50 rock. The next resting point to Diakon. The road leading up the hill is winding and one lane. A small stream of water was pooling at the base of the hill. Slowly we made are way up the hill. That was when we ran into trouble. There was a group of Charred on the path. They were eating something I could not make it out. Carefully we tried to make our way back down without them noticing us. Unfortunately Beth tripped alerting them to us. At least it was down hill run. Everything would have been fine until a larger group of ghouls came crashing down from on top of the hill. Blocking our path down. There was only 1 option at that point we jumped off the side into the forest below.
With the ground soaked it did not seem like a bad idea jumping off the side of a hill. We landed on the opposite side of where we started. There was no time to stop after our jump. Once we landed a flood of ghouls came crashing behind. I did not think that many could have fit on top of 50/50, but life finds a way. A few yards into the forest is when we found the remains of the SUV. There was gore all around the site, but I had no time to check it out. We had to keep moving deeper into the woods. Only stopping for little break to catch our breath. It was early morning the next day when we finally had to rest for the day. Even now I can hear movement of monsters around us. Time to wake Beth up and head out. I guess I will sleep some other time.
The trail to 50/50 Rock was difficult to travel after the storm. Most of it was washed out or thick with mud. I slipped more than few times. The plan for today was to make it at least farther than we did last time and try to camp close to the base of 50/50 rock. We ended up just barely passing the halfway point. Before having to stop due to fatigue. Our campsite for tonight was a large rock far off the wet ground. A nice exposed spot out in the open. It would have been nice to find a hiding spot, but we were just too tired to look.(more…)
The sky threatened rain all day today. Dark storm clouds are gathering around the forest. This late in the season it might be a big one. Once we reached the halfway point to 50/50 rock I had us turn back. The road up that hill is one lane and not safe traveling in the rain. There is no cover just one long winding road to the top. I don’t want to risk being exposed to that much elemental forces and monsters. Once I had a good long look at my old home we headed back to our campsite from last night.(more…)
The Sun was just starting to rise when we left for 50/50 rock. It was eerie leaving the safety of the mausoleum. Over the past year I have left a lot of shelters and it has never gotten easier. The only noise outside was our feet as we made our way deeper into the forest. We traveled without speaking to avoid being detected. At this peace it will take longer than expected to make it to the next shelter. Also means gun fire is to be used as a last resort. If and when the monsters show up running will be the first thing we do. I taught Beth how to read a map as best as I could and gave her an old compass. Our destination is a fixed heading as long as the compass is pointed. Once we pass the halfway point there is no missing it. Just have to make it there first.(more…)
The others have still not arrived. I am starting to get worried they should have been here by now. Even on foot Lily should have made it. This lead Beth and I believe our plan to draw the monsters off didn’t work. Maybe we made it worse by drawing all the others still roaming around in the area to the shelter. Once they got bored looking for us. Did we send others to their deaths?(more…)
I slept like the dead. After days of running and hiding I almost didn’t want to wake up. This year I have lost so much. It would have been fitting to have ended my journey here. Inside a tomb next to Beth. Being inside this tomb is giving me these dark thoughts. We are going to stay here for a few days. Then start the trip to 50/50 rock. Hopefully that others will meet us there. I wonder is taking them so long?
I thought I heard a vehicle while outside today. It could have been my mind playing tricks on me. Like people that are traveling the desert and see water off in the horizon. Only to find an ocean of sand. Beth said she heard it to. Both of us waited outside of the maslouem for as long as we could for them. You never know if something was following them and we had only a small window to load in and take off. Once it got dark we went back inside. (more…)
The journey to the mausoleum was long, dirty and exhausting. Beth and I managed to make it here early in the morning. It stood in tact, but empty. The SUV is not here yet. Which means that either we are late or the others are still on their way. Either way we are staying here for a bit. We would have heard gunfire or at least the SUV driving, but so far nothing. Which means that they might still be stuck inside the shelter. With the amount of monsters chasing us in the forest I doubt that is the case. I hope they didn’t just keep driving past this place.
To get inside the mausoleum first you have to enter the graveyard. A walled off area with two large iron gates to the east and west. The forest is trying its best to reclaims this ares, but so far failed. Nothing grows on the inside of the gates. The grounds sit as empty as the tomb. The maslouem has no visible doors to on the outside inside. To get inside you have to enter a secret code, by pressing three colored bricks then pull one of the gargoyles tail. The weather had worn off most of the paint on the bricks. Making it difficult to get inside. I cut numbers into them to make it easier to work the hidden door. Let’s be honest anyone hiding out here most likely knows what they are looking for. When I see Dad again going to let him know about the changes I made.
Fremont and Dad made this hidden entrance. They said it was to help secure this spot better, but I know they did it for the fun of it. I mean a big door with a lock would work just as well. I do agree with Dad it is a lot cooler the way he did it. Is it strange to be resting in a tomb? Though with never having any bodies laid to rest here is it really a grave? Hopefully it will not find permanent residence with us.
Once inside the air was cool and musky. The layout on the inside is bigger than you would expect. There are two rooms. A living room and sleeping area. The sleeping area has a small but functional bathroom. No hot water though. Making for a cold shower. There is minimal power inside this place from the photovoltaic roof tiles. Enough to power a hot plate, radio beacon and lights on the inside. Nothing to advance just sends a check in signal. It can send out a distress signal, but no voice chat. At least here the water is clean and food will be hot. Also a bed well a coot with a pillow. After so many nights without sleep it is time to rack out for a bit.
Beth and I are taking a break from walking all night. You will not believe the things we saw out here! In the early morning one of those borrowing beasts ate a Charred whole. In one bite like it was nothing. Some much for honor among monsters. Which I am thankful the Charred helped us find that before it could eat us. That was on the path we where going. This was the first time Beth had seen one of those. She was understandably shaken by it. Beth turned sheet white when I told her what one of those things did to Lily. They are a lot bigger now than it was almost a year ago. Guess it has been eating good out here.
It is taking a lot longer to get to the mausoleum with all these monsters around. I don’t think we are being followed right now. Still I am taking us on a more zig zag pattern in case we are. We don’t have much in terms of weapons so best not lead them to our hideout. Beth was carrying the long rifle in her pack that floated downstream. I gave her my shotgun, but that is only good for closer range. Though it will not be useful if something jumps up out from beneath us and swallows us whole. Nothing we can do about that. I hope that does not happen again. Remembering Lily being dragged below by one of those still haunts my dreams.
The others will hopefully be at the mausoleum still when we get there. Beth and . I are going to need the sleep after these last few days .I guess now is a good time to talk about what the mausoleum. A long time ago there were few miners in these parts. Remember all those mines in Daikon well there are a few out in the forest. One of these mines belong to a whole family of miners. They would work the land and dig in the mines and made a decent living. Now back in the day there was no real cemeteries out here, so the family built a tomb.
The wife wanted to be buried close to home when she passed, but didn’t like the idea of worms eating her corpse. Her husband who was modestly wealthy had an above ground cemetery built which is a mausoleum. Now mining is not the safest of ventures and neither is farming back in those days. Thankfully the husband and wife made it to a fine old age. Though as you get older it is normal for your body to start breaking down. After a heated debate one night between the two it was decided that the whole family would pack up, sell the land and move closer to the city for medical reason. This is where things get interesting.
The husband sold the land to a developer who planned on making the mine more industrial. Hire bigger teams to work the land and mines to turn a bigger profit. Once all the paper was signed the family moved out and he in. Now the investor was itchy to start getting to work on his mine and decide to stay on the land while getting everything in order. He was not the most adept at mining or farming, but one day decided to try his hand at it. Thinking how hard could it be if some backcountry forest people could do it. He went deeper into the mine than he should have. Working long into the night. Not knowing that he was in one of the more dangerous parts of the mine and triggered cave him. His body was never found.
You see when the investor put this deal together he did it behind his partner backs. The investor never married, had no children and was disliked by most of his family. The land and mine sat vacant for a long time until one day Fremont and Dad found it. They were hiking out here for a way to make it back to Daikon from our house on foot. Fremont found the investors journal inside the worn down house. He bought the land and then fixed up the empty mausoleum. To be used as a resting stop for the trail back to Daikon. Dad was the one that told me this story. I think he is lying, but still a cool story if true. When I ask Mom about it she says we all are to young for the real one. I miss my family so much. Only a few more days until we make it back to them. My legs have stopped their aching time to start walking again.
Beth and I have to leave the treehouse today to make it to the mausoleum in time. Also we have to leave due to half our rations floating downstream. Now if we cut our remaining food in half it should last us. Hunting will be out as we are being hunted ourselves. Plus it is hard to field dress and cook something when on the run. There is no doubt that monsters are out here looking for a human to snack on. Water will also be an issue again no fire to boil it which is bad. Food we could go without, but water is important to keep you going.
People think that nothing happens until you hit that three day no water point then boom your dead. Dehydration sucks to put it lightly. First is the headache that gets more intense the longer without water you go. Then you start to get dizzy/confused. Muscle cramps making walking hard or do anything. These symptoms vary from person to person, but it always ends the same death. None of these I want to experience. Now there is water out here if you know how to find it. Lucky for us I do.
Let’s break down a few options for water out here. Most of the snow that still is on the ground is a no go without boiling. It is covered in ash and other things. There are some small streams along the way that should work. Just have to find them and I know where two are. Once we find water we have to make it safe to drink. In my pack I have a small vial of iodine and water purification tablets. When using tablets make sure they can kill Cryptosporidium. Also wait at least 4 hours per liter to drink. A safe way to make sure you are avoiding a night of “big water”. I also have one life straw which is a portable water filter. Going to save that for when we can stop and drink without worry. With the water tablets can fill up our cantins and keep moving. Now onward for the plan tonight.
Tonight the plan is simple we keep moving while taking short rest. If we push ourselves too hard while traveling we could get hurt and there is no help. We will be leaving at night, so also have to travel slow. I have the walk from the treehouse to the mausoleum at least a dozen times. A few of them as the navigator. Even though I know the path there overconfidence can lead you down some bad paths. Slow and steady is the name of this game. I really don’t want to miss our ride back, but a twisted ankle in the middle of the woods surrounded by man eaters is worse. Plus Beth has never taken this route, so I have to factor that in to. I know we can do this and don’t have a choice. Into the woods we go.
It has been two days since Beth and I left the shelter to draw the monsters away. We left under the cover of darkness. To give us the best chance of making it to the destinations undetected. It must have taken every bit of courage for Beth not to run back into the shelter hatch once outside. Ghouls and the Charred covered the grounds. A few of those Horned Charred were resting near the main door. They will make quick work of the door. It may only take a few hours at best for them to get it inside. Which means we picked a good time to draw them away.
Keeping close to the ground we made our way to the forest line. At some points crawling. A few ghouls came close spotting us. Lucky they were coming from the opposite direction of our destination. With all this activity we had to take things slower than planned. It close to noon when we reach the woodshed. Everything takes extra time when you want to go unnoticed. Not wasting anymore time got to work. I could already he the loud thud of something slamming into metal from out here. The horned Charred must have begun their assault on the shelter door.
We worked most of the day away. A couple of times we had to take cover to hide from the odd ghoul passing by. Once everything was set up we decided to wait until the second fire and sound devices were made ready to start. With this amount of monsters nearby better to be ready to run to the treehouse. Even out here they roamed. There is no city or home close by here. These ghouls must have been wondering out here for months. Most of their clothes in tatters revealing bones and internal organs. Also that smell I don’t think I could eat for a week after that. One of those smells that will be hard to forget.
We lit the fires in the afternoon. Had this not been a mission it would be a great place to stay the night. A warm fire on a deep in the forest with only Beth and I. What more could you want. The oncoming storm of monsters will soon make this campsite a monsters only event. We rush to the second sight once the first log dropped on the self feeding system we set up. The second sight is when things got scary.(more…)