I did not get much sleep last night another battle had broken out. The charred as Cody calls them attacked in numbers again. I was put on stand by incase I was needed to help Mom treat the wounded. The adults must have accounted for another large attack in the next coming days. Cody would have been able to tell you all about the plan. The type of weapons used and where they were setup. All I know is that every time those “Charred or Ghouls” attack someone in my family gets hurt. It would been nice to get some sleep. I miss the days of sleeping in my warm bed. Without worrying about monsters attacking us every other day. Hanging out with Olivia and working on the next D&D campaign. Instead I have to stay up way past my bedtime to and finish the blood cultures that we took from the goat. Then go right to help set up the trauma center again. I could have been finishing knitting my blanket I have been working on. Thankfully there was coffee in the cafeteria where we set up again. By the way I am too young to be needing coffee.
Everyone was still setting up the trauma center when the ground started to rumble. A hole opened up right in the mess hall. Everyone panicked and raced for the doors outside. Three massive bugs emerged from the ground and attacked. They looked like centipedes, but grotesque. With harpoon tails and too many claws to count. Blue phosphorescence gew leaked from their scaled bodys. A couple people tried to distracted the monsters, so others could escape. As I made it out with Mom I saw something I would have rather not. Two of the monsters grabbed a young women and man then disappeared back into the hole they came from. Those cries for help the people made as they were dragged underground were haunting. It reminded me of a time back at our home. When a rabbit got tangled up in the gardens netting we just put up. The screams it made as it fought to get free as a hungry fox came to claim a easy meal sounded just like the women being carried away tonight. That is not a way I want to go. I am sure that desperate look on her face and the scream the rabbit made will be in my nightmares till I am old and fragile. The guards rushed inside and started firing. It didn’t take long for them to down the remaining bugs. It wasn’t until later we found out there was more of these holes across the camp.
Since Cody has been recovering at the medical facility someone had to pick up his chore list. That someone was you guessed it me. You owe me ,so much once you get better Cody. Mom made me muck out the stalls at the farm. Then I had to do the rounds with Mom to check on the animals. One of the goats had an abcess that needed to be drained. A simple scalpel cut then flush out the wound. Nothing too bad I helped Mom do this before. Most of the time abscess will clear up on their own. This was not one of those time. Mr.Meza was there to help out. Mostly to keep the Goat clam while Mom lanced and cleaned out the wound. The abscess was near the goats shoulder and right when we got there was no doubt it needed to be fixed. The thing was the size of a softball. All the hair had fallen out from around the site. Only small tufts of the white hair were stuck to the little bit of puss leaking from the site. Mom had me prep with iodine then help Mr.Meza hold the goat still while she made the first cut. The second mom cut into the site it exploded in foul smelling pus. There was just so much of it. I woke up to Mom and Mr.Meza both laughing about their first time. I guess it was a little too much for my brain to taken in and hit the shutdown button. Mom called it a vasovagal syncope. Said it happened to Dad every time in the delivery room with us.
You would think having just passed out I will get the rest of the day off. With any normal parent I would have, but not with Mom. Dad would have made me hot chocolate and my favorite snack. Never Mom though she believes if you can stand you can work. That is grandpa doing until the day he died was out working the fields on his farm. Mom said they found him on the tracker when he passed. When they tried to get him off of it his body came back to life to finished plowing it. After mom finished flushing out the Goat wound she had me collect a sample of the pus then take it back to her small lab for culturing to make sure it wasn’t Caseous lymphadenitis. After all the fun I finally got the work done then had enough time to shower and go to bed. Tomorrow I get to work with Dad, so it should be a lot easier. How hard can putting in a couple new row of sprinkler lines be?
Cody has still been kicking this infections butt the last two days. He is still wobbly, but improving. The antibiotics they have him on finally started to work. The wound on his left hand doesn’t reek of infection anymore. The swelling to his face has come down though we still don’t know the extent of vision loss to his left eye. Mom said he might have to wear glasses when this is all done or he might have already lost sight in that eye. That stress me out the most of all the injuries. A few finger is not great to lose, but one of your eyes changes how you see the world. The scarring from all the other wounds should be minimal thankfully. Beth spent the night last night with Cody at the medical facility. Those two will make sure a good couple. She helped him walk around a bit and kept him company while he was awake. Beth also did something no one thought to do and that was bring Cody his slate. Already such a good girlfriend. He maybe only able to see out of one eye still, but the other works just fine. Mom said if he keeps improving he should be heading back to the cabin in a few days. Now to get some sleep it has been a long last two days.
Hey Cody it is me Courtney I hope you don’t get mad, but I am going to write in your journal while you rest up. I can’t just sit here and do nothing while the doctors try to fix you.
Cody did not have a good time last night. The stitches on his left hand opened up yesterday and became infected. He had to stay the night at the medical facility to be monitored. The infection has spread quickly and has yet to slow down. If it gets any worse they might have to cut of his left arm! Next time tell people about this brother or I will never let you forget about it! Cody has been in a daze most of today. The pain meds have him sleeping a lot. The doctor taken care of Cody tonight is one of the people the rescue party brought back. His name is Dr.Singh a surgeon that retired to set up a family practice in town. Most of the people crammed in the van when Dad came back was his office staff and family. The doctors have done all they can to try and save your arm. All we can do now is wait. You may never say it, but what you did during the battle was so courageous. It is so like you to think of others instead of yourself.
Lily told us it was Cody the first ran to help others once those large cracked skin monsters attacked. Even though you knew it was risky and that you might not make it out alive. Lily also told us he engaged one of those “Charred” in melee combat and won. Looking at his wounds though it doesn’t seem like it was a flawless victory. Cody’s injuries are extensive. He is missing two fingers on his left hand, the bruising on his face was so bad that his left eye is still swollen shut. Also he has cuts all up and down his body. Mom said that you were more stitches than man. I tried to ask Lily more, but that was all she remember. She didn’t make it out of the battle unharmed either. Both Lily and Cody were one of the first ones to get brought into the makeshift triage set up in the mess hall. Cody looked so bad that we didn’t think he would make it. How this infection is spreading tonight he still might not. Mom just barely started letting him leave the house last two day. Only so he could watch Will and Beth the girl he has secret crush on train with Lily. Then it was right back home to rest of. I knew his injuries were bad when Mom let him sleep in and didn’t make him do homeschool. I wish my family would stop getting injured all the time. Maybe after all these attacks happen we can go back to normal. Whatever normal is when you are living through the end of the world. Beth is here to keep me company tonight. I think she likes Cody and much as he tries to hide how much he likes her. They will make a cute couple I think I will try to get them together.
Today we buried all the people that passed away from the attack. We held The service at sunrise. The suns rose slowly warming us as the rays lit the predawn ground. Dad gave a simple eulogy. Listing the names of the fallen. There was ten in total that died during and after the attack. The Smiths family lost their oldest and youngest son. The Lopez family was wiped out of all five family members. Leaving an open cabin for a new family to move into. Yesterday the last Davis brother passed from his injury. Preceding his two other brothers. Had it not been for all these people I would not be here today. I attended the funeral with all the other veterans and their families. The bodies were buried in one large grave and a single headstone marked the people that lay to rest there. We gave our thanks and goodbyes. Then set out for work. Even though you feel like the world had stop, it goes on. It has been a long last seven day since the attack. The ghouls still keep attacking, but not in numbers like before. A few here and there. Most of them a ghastly remembrance of the person it once was. I have not been to the battle site since the attack, but am told the new ghouls that have arriving do not look pretty. Once they are dispatched they get their own funeral. Each day a tractor pushes the slayed ghouls into a pile to be burned that night. No one cries for them.
Lily was hurt in the final attack. This time only a few stitches, two sprained ankles and a dislocated shoulder. Will has been attending to her night and day. Pushing her around in a wheelchair to get around. Rewrapping her ankles at night and making sure she takes her medicine. She is eating up all the attention to. In turn though she is has been coaching him on gun safety and how to fire in a squad formation. He has a great teacher. Beth has been paired with Will to help to get used to shooting with someone next to him. Also Beth needs the practice just as much. Lily has them running drills on the compounds make shift firing range. Miller has taken over as range master which used to be Mr. Lopez’s job. Under the guidance of Both Lily and Miller Will and Beth have improved. The last two days alone they have made great progress. Beth is great at long range, but suffers in short range. I watched her miss with a shotgun trying to hit a target almost at 10 feet which takes skill to do. Will is a nice medium not great in any one area, but good all around. After practice Miller clears the range then they have to collect all the spent cartridges to reload and use for the next day. Which is another skill they needed to learn. Ammo had to be better regulated since the ghoul started showing up. Use too much ammo and we will have to fight the charred and ghouls off with sticks. I think I opened up the stitches on my left hand again. I guess that is all the writing for me today.
Day Part 4
The attack came at dusk. In the fading light the ghouls looked like the humans they used to be. Had I not seen these things earlier today, I would have welcomed them into the camp only to be brought to my demise. How many people had already fallen for that trap? We didn’t have much time to set up a great defense but had to make due with what we had. When the first wave of attackers reached the fire line, they didn’t stand a chance. Everyone was nervous and trigger happy. Then a second wave came with larger numbers. The first wave looked deceivingly human. While each wave after looked more ghastly than the last. They wore skin that barely covered their organs. Cracked bones protruded like spears. These ones didn’t have speed, but had morbid persistence. Again these things were hewn down with relentless firepower. It wasn’t until the later attacks that people started to get hurt. The ghouls just kept coming. Each group worse than the others. The fire line to the far left of us was the first to fall. Running out of ammo, they found the ghouls noticed and focused that area. That is when the heavy weapons came out. Mortars and rockets lit up the forest. Each explosion sending a concussive wave that rattled my body. I crouched barely breathing inside my foxhole. I think I tried to scream and my eyesight blackened. I was in a nightmare I could not wake from. Then as fast as it started it was over. There was a few more shots of gunfire what felt like miles away. Then a cheer that the battle was won. I shifted to find I could not stand, something was pinning me down. I panicked and started to thrash around only to her Lily’s voice whisper it was going to be okay. She wouldn’t let anything hurt her little brother. I relaxed and she got off me. Again I tried to stand but light-headed I nearly passed out. I balanced myself and took a look at my surroundings. Body parts were scattered all around. Small trees cast dimmed shadows around the forest. The fortifications to the left and right of us began calling for medical help and people rushed in. I sat back down and started to cry again. Lily hugged me and joined in. We knew it couldn’t be over. Soon, the final attack came.
The charred must have been driving the ghouls to us. Waiting for us to tend to our wounded to attack. Out from the tree line they emerged. Barely visible as the onslaught of explosives knocking most of the lights out. Standing taller than any men, with cracked blackened skin and long jagged claws hands. They cut down wounded and healer alike, making quick work of them. The screams broke me out of my shell shocked state. It seemed like this was going to be the end. There was just too many of them and too many wounded to fight back. My thoughts went to my family and friends. I had to keep fighting for them. I knew I would get yelled out later for what I did, but it was the only thing I could think of. I got out of my foxhole with the only my laser pistol and trench knife to engage the charred in melee. I don’t have much a of memory of what happened after that, but I woke up in the mess all with Mom and Courtney standing over me tears in their eyes.
Day 100 Part 3
Dad filled us in on what happened during the rescue mission while we worked building defenses for the camp. The trouble started a few days before they had reached the Gonzales. They came across other survivors. Dad almost hit them with the beast as they ran out of the forest to try and stop him. Both of them were hurt and needed help. Miller was out of the door first gun drawn. You never know if it is people in need or bandits on the road. It didn’t take Miller long to find out. A small group of those ghouls were close by. Miller open fired on them the instant he saw them and ushered the people inside. From then until they reach the Gonzales location it was skirmish after skirmish with those ghouls. Everyone once in a while a group of the charred would join in the fight. In one of the attacks the radio for the RV was destroyed.
The night they made it to the Gonzales the attacks died down. The Gonzales were all safe in the bunker with other survivors. The reason why the Gonzales did not stayed at this shelter was not because some monster destroyed their van, but something more sinister. A squirrels had chewed through the vans battery cables the frist night there. The same squirrels also chewed up most of the electrical inside the underground bunker some time ago. The Gonzales tried to leave on foot, but were attack by those ghouls forcing them to retreat back to the shelter. This small shelter was stocked with a limited amount of provision, so time was not on their side. Mr. Gonzales managed to get some of the electrical working. Enough to power the small radio they had with them. Thought the range was limited. He Made contact with Dad before the Rvs radio was destroyed. That was as far as Dad told me before the second wave of ghouls made contact with us at the camp.
Day 100 part 2
The attack happened soon after Fremont arrived. The monsters looked just like people. At first I was excited to see more people alive and joining the rescue party back home. It shocked me when Fremont picked up a rifle and started firing at them. The other guards were in shocked to and tried to stop him thinking he went mad. All the while Fremont yelling that those things are not human anymore and don’t stop firing. There was a large group of them running towards the checkpoint. As they got closer to us you could see what ever made them humans had long gone. The guards holding Fremont noticed this and let him go. Once Fremont and the two guards were clear everyone started firing at the monsters. We kept shooting until a call for ceasefire. 1 of the ghouls still stood. The final attacker was still slowly making its way to us. I got a good look at it and I wish I hadn’t. Its eyes were feverish and wild. There was no blood coming from its many wounds only dark ichor. We watch as it slowly made its way to us. This was indeed a monster from my nightmares made real. Lily picked up the M45 carefully aim for the head and brought it down. The fight was over we had won.
Fremont told us that this was just the first wave and more were on their way. I asked Fremont where my Dad was? He said that Dad was inside the Van that he sent to the mess hall. Dad was holding pressure on a wound Miller received. Fremont excused us to go see him. Lily and I ran the whole way there. Adrenalin still coursing through us. Dad was outside the mess hall and he looked tried. His cloth were covered in dirt and blood. Once he saw us he ran up to meet us. He give us the biggest hug ever. He smelled awful, but at least he was home safe! Lily started to cry and so did I. Dad was back and it seemed like the world was a little safer again. Even though we just fought some new threat Dad was here. There was so many things I wanted to ask him, but they had to wait. Fremont was on the radio saying that every able body was to report to the front gate to start preparing for the next attack. Dad looked tried again. Like he had not rested in months. It was time to prepare for the real battle that was coming.
Courtney spotted the signal flare first. The bright orange glow lingered in the sky for all us to see. Camp security was running around to secure all the entrance to the compound. After an hour there was another flare this time closer to us. Mom had Beth take Brooke into the shelter under the cabin with Will. Even though we could use the the help to defend Will and Beth have not completed the proper training to handle a firearm. The worst thing you can do is give someone a weapon that doesn’t understand the dangers of using it. Barricades were set up around the choke points to limit the amount of things that could get in. The compounds security detail start to pull out the heavier weapons. While this could just be someone in need of help it could also be bandits marking the path to get to us. The medical staff coordinated to setup up a triage center in case of wounded. Mom joined the medical team to help treat the injured. Most people don’t understand that a veterinarian is capable on working on almost all animals humans included. Lily and I had the honor of joining the front gate team.
It was intense as the flares got closers. All the while Lily and I built a fox hole and ran ammo from ours to others fortifications . I had 3 different types of firearms with me. The Barrett M95, a M249 belt fed machine gun, and my side arm the laser pistol. I also had a trench knife with me incase it came down to hand to hand combat. Which I really didn’t want it to come to that. The two guards maning the check point where decked out in combat gear I have never seen before. Both of them looked like they have seen combat. It did not take long for the party responsible for launching those flares to come driving slowly up to the checkpoint. Their vehicle looked like it was in an accident and packed with people. The guards told them to stop and Identify themselves. The Driver compiled and told them Fremont was with them and he wanted to get out of the back passenger side door to talk. Weapon drawn the garud allowed a person to exit the vehicle. Cautiously Fremont exited the vehicle and haggard. Most of his body covered in dirty bandages. He told the guards everything was okay and to let these people inside the camp. Then he said something that didn’t make sense and the guards relaxed. Must have been a secret passcode incase he was a hostage. The people were told to drive to the mess hall to get checked out by the medical staff. There must have been over 20 people crammed inside that van stacked on top of each other. Fremont asked for the radio and told everyone listing what was going, and to be ready for an attack. The charred are coming.
It was late when the alarms when off. Mom did a surprise Emergency Disaster Drill or E.D.D. No one played around this time. I think we set a new all time record for quickest entry into the cabins underground shelter. We beat Mom into the shelter and almost locked her out. The best part was when Will and Lily came out of Lily’s bedroom together. Mom didn’t see that part but the rest sure did. You could see from a mile away that Lily and Will were trying to hide something. After the drill was over we got to go back to bed. Mom was happy with the results. Though she did stop Will as everyone was heading back to their rooms for the night. She wanted to take a closer look at the large purple bruise on his neck. Will told mom that he tripped and hit the door knob during the drill. I covered for Lily and told Mom that is what happened. Pretty sure Mom didn’t believe it. Also to prevent another door knob related injury she took my door away! You know the room Will is supposed to be staying in. This almost puts the debt I owe Lily to even in my books.
Mom is merciless when it comes to sleep. You would think after waking us all up for a E.D.D we would get to sleep in. Nope she just got us up even earlier. The sun wasn’t even up yet why should I! She sent us to the farm to go tend to the animals. Milk the few cows, feed the chickens and clean out the stalls. Yeah she knew where that bruise on Wills neck came from. Mr.Meza came by a little later to tell us another round of those bugs attacked during the night. He chased them down and followed them to their hive by himself. Have to make a note of never getting on this guys bad side. Then Courtney and I went got the task of fixing the chicken coop. While in the tool shed a shadowy figure jumped out at us. Courtney screamed and ran away while it had me dead to rights. Thankfully It was just a ranch cat that was sleeping. We woke it up and it had to take some sort of revenge. The guards on duty had a good laugh about that. It seems like this cat does this to people on a regular basis. Courtney did not think that was funny. The coop was easy to fix and Mom gave Courtney, Beth and I the rest of the day off. Will and Lily on the other hand had a special work detail with Mom inside the Medical station.
Courtney, Beth and I had already started making dinner for everyone when Lily and Will came home. Mom made them watch a old navy film about the horrors of STDs. Lily watched it before, but it was new for Will. He was as white as a ghost and looked like he just got done throwing up his lunch. Yep Mom did know how he got that bruise. Which mean if I ever get the courage to ask Beth out Mom might make me watch that video to. Before everyone went to bed Mom tried to reach Dad on the radio again. He still has not checked in. This is two days in a row. What is going to happen if the rescue party needs to be rescued? Tomorrow is the earliest they should be back from their trip to save the Gonzales. Maybe the radio got busted or they are in stealth mode trying to be as quiet as possible. What I find strange is all the other radio channels are quiet to.