The beast has broken down! We hit something that was covered by all this ash on the road. Mom and Dad have been working on fixing the problem, but it will take some time before we are on the move again. The cabin is so close, but it is still too risky to go on foot. Though we might have to after last night. Staying in one place too long has seemed to attract the charred ones that attacked the Mill’s. Bad luck seems to follow them around. It was late last night when the attack happened. They charged the RV almost flipping it over. One of the attackers managed to punch a softball size hole into the cabin wall. Its cracked and charred hand reaching for whatever it could grab as it tried to free itself. While the other two attackers focused on trying to roll us over. I wish I could tell you what happened more, but I slept thru the whole ordeal. You see earlier that night I had a bad headache, so mom gave me some medicine to help me sleep and well I guess it worked too well. I only found out about the attack later. Lily filled me about it. Everyone thought I was knocked out, because they found me buried under some fallen boxes of canned food. They all got a good laugh after I told them I might have been just sleeping. I think this one will follow me for the rest of my life….great.
We made it to the Mills today! They did not look so good getting out of their shelter. All their clothes were ragged and you can see they haven’t slept well. I wonder what happened to them? Courtney almost ran out the RV to greet Oliva. She was excited that one of her best friends made it. The ashen rain was still falling here, so you still need a mask to go outside. Which she quickly put on. The plan for tonight was to stay at the Mills shelter and maybe get a shower. It is starting to get a little gamey in the beast. Unfortunately that didn’t pan out. There was a water leak and then a fire that wiped out most of the Mills place. What bad luck seeing how their transport was also damaged, but at least they are still alive. The Mill’s only had their bug out packs to load into the beast. There was nothing left for them here so we head out.
We found another spot to part for the Night. Mom actually cooked dinner! which was so much better than another night of MREs . While everyone was eating the adults planned in the front part of the RV and the kids talked in the back. Olivia was giving us the rundown on what she has been up to in between sips of her soup. She told us more about the fire and that they tried to leave for the cabin on foot, but they were attacked. Then headed back to their burnout shelter to wait for someone to pick them up. Even though most of it was destroyed they still had two rooms. It gave them some protection and limited radio communication. The last few night those monsters tried to get into the shelter, but gave up each time. Olivia started tearing up after that last part. Once she started crying courtney start to. Then I might have joined in with them. I had been holding a lot in and my emotions got the better of me. After all this time seeing someone else alive was just too much to hold in. The rest of the night we watched movies and played board games. Soon we should be around a lot more people once we get to the cabin. Just have to make it there first.
It is taking a lot longer than expected to get to the Mills. The road is either blocked by cars or rubble. Mom, Courtney and I are on road clearing duty. Dad and Lily are still recovering, so they got out of it. We each take turns clearing a path for the beast. The ashen rain falls all the time from fires around us, so we have to stay suited up. The ash is making it hard to see far which is a blessing and a curse. Though for once we got the jump on two of those charred monsters. Courtney spotted them first. It looked like they were fighting over some dead thing to eat. I took care of them with the M95. The first shot was a clean to the head. Then once the first charred monster went down the second started to eat what they were fighting over. It didn’t even look up to see what happened just went straight to eating. My second shot hit center mass for monster number 2. It staggered up from its meal then slumped over dead. Where do these things keep coming from? These ones were a little different from the ones back home. They both had one long hooked spike coming from their left arm. It seems like we run into different types of these things everywhere we go. At least two will not hunt us like the others. After we finished clearing the road we started to find a place to park for the night.
The sun was low in the sky when we stopped. Dad parked us in a old salvage yard. At least that is what it looked like. There was enough overturned cars to fuel up the beasts tank and its reserves. Courtney found more bodies as we looked around. It has been over 60 days since whatever happen killed these people. Some the bodies looked like statues from the ash covering them. Like all those people you see from Mt Vesuvius. It was scary knowing we are spending the night in what has turned into a graveyard. After we settled down Mom radioed the Mills. Having them meet us halfway is out of the question. The air is too bad and travel is dangerous with all those monsters roaming without some forum of shelter. We should be meeting them in the next couple of days. Now it is time to finish this beanie I have been working on for Lily. It should help her hide her ear better than just covering it with her hair. I still feel guilty on what happened to her.
The sky was still that same crimson color as the last times we went outside. There was something new in the sky this time. Purple streaks that stretched from horizon to horizon. Another thing we have to be worried about. Today we leave the shelter and for once good news we didn’t get attacked by monsters this time. It did get a little intense when Dad and I opened the barn doors. The one antler deer jumped out at us. I guess it needed to see us off one last time. Dad got the beast warmed up and we drove it to the shelter door. Brooke was loaded up first and then we started moving supplies. Once everyone was loaded up Mom started the final steps to lull the shelter to sleep. It will have enough power to keep the supplies good for a long time in case we needed to come back. All that is left is to pick which route we are going to take. I pray that it is not the long way.
Tomorrow is the day we leave the shelter and head to the cabin. We had to eat MREs, and I’m not talking about the good ones either. I am going to have to get used to eating whatever though can’t be picky. This is going to be my last night sleeping in a real bed until we reach the cabin. Dad checked in with Fremont and told him the three possible routes we could be taking and when to expect us. The trip to the cabin should not take more than a few days. Before it was a one day drive, but the road conditions are likely not that great. Depending on what route we take will determine where we pick up the Mills. They are on the direct path to the cabin which would be great if all goes well. The second route takes us the long way around which is never fun. I have been known to get car sick on that detour. Dad and I will be leaving the shelter tomorrow to make a dash to the beast. We will drive it to the shelter then everyone will load up and we will head out. If it all works out I will update you from the road.
Lily has gotten a lot better. Though the scars she carries now will last a lifetime. I broke down and told Courtney it was all my fault for what happened to Lily and Dad. Courtney told mom about it which got around to the rest of the family quickly. It is a hard to hide anything when you are in a cramped space underground. Both Dad and Lily tried to convince me I did a good job outside. That some people would have just ran away and hid instead of attacking something head on like I did. Lily gave me a big hug and told me she though she did not like being beat up by some giant bug beast, but she was glad it was her instead of me. I wish I could be brave like that. I still watch Lily try to hide her scars and sometime tear up.
We started packing up the shelter. It might be a long time before we are back here. Our home has been destroyed, David is gone and monsters are roaming outside. I wish I could just go back to complaining about homework again. My parents did the best they could to prepare us for the worst, but never asked if we wanted to live through it. How much easier would it have been just for us to stay in bed? When whatever happened outside, happened and we slipped away in our sleep. Most of my friends are probably gone. I also think about Brooke growing up in all this. She may never know what a world without monsters was like. I know I am sounding dark, but writing this helps me cope. Maybe the trip to the cabin will not be so bad. I mean it can’t be the end of the world twice right?
Lily was able to walk around a bit today. She still looks like a mummy with all her bandages. I tended to her the best I could over the past couple days. Even gave her all my turns with the slate to keep her distracted from the pain she must be in. Some of the wounds got infected and had to be cleaned out. Mom had her on some painkillers and antibiotics, so she has been sleeping a lot. Dads has been resting as well. I guess his arm was not the only thing that got hurt. Who knew getting thrown into the air by a giant monster could injure you this much. Once Lily gets better Dad said we will be leaving for the cabin.
The plan is to meet up with the Mills family and head out together. Dad talked to them last night about it. They wanted to leave sooner, but their transport was destroyed. I don’t blame them for wanting to leave sooner rather than later. Without a vehicle though it would be dangerous. The Mills have two daughters. There is Megan who is 16 she was David’s girlfriend. Unless you asked him about it and then he’d get all red faced around Mom. Then there is Olivia she is my age. Olivia likes to tinker and is a big cosplayer. Courtney and Olivia were part of a geeky club in town. I have been dragged to more than my fair shares of D&D nights with them. Mom would not let Courtney go unless David or I went with her. David went so he could sneak away with Megan which always puts the group a man down. Then David got his own car and stopped going. He could see Megan whenever he wanted to then. Courtney got me to go by doing my chores for a week. Most of the time it was fun and you get to meet some interesting people. I can’t stop thinking about going outside again though. At least I will finally get to meet Will and Beth, so that is something to look forward to.
Lily and Dad are hurt bad. A group of those charred monsters ambushed us while we were outside. I wish we had the warning of the animals to help us like last time we were attacked. They used the ashen rain as cover. Dad’s arm is broken and he needed staples from a large gash down his chest. Had it not been for the helmet on her suit I am sure Lily would be with David. I managed to get away with only a few scrapes and bruises. I should have been watching the tree line better, but it was so hard to see anything outside. Lily needed a blood transfusion, a lot of stitches, staples and bandages, but should make it… I hope. Courtney and I are 0 negative so we donated to help save Lily. Mom had a hard time closing some of Lily’s wounds. There was so much blood and used medical supplies on the floor when Mom was done. I guess I should go back and explain what happened outside a few days ago.
Dad was finishing up setting the sensors when the charred monsters attacked. He said they appeared out of nowhere and took a swipe at him. Lily was able to down it quickly when the others charged in. Dad was recovering his footing when he was picked up and flung into the air, and broke his arm on the landing. I moved to see what was going on. The comms were a lot of roars, yelling and gun fire. When I got close I saw that Lily had downed two more of those things and was helping Dad back up. I switched to heat mode and saw more where coming from the forest, I took aim and fired. I hit a couple of them or at least drove them off. That is when something new came out of the ground and attacked Lily. It looked like its first attack took off Lily’s head and then it appeared to tear into her body. Dad managed to pull his knife free one handed and stabbed the beast. It knocked Dad away then reared up to let out an deafening roar. I knew I had to take the shot, I took aim and fired. I hit center mass and caused the beast to stagger back. I shot two more times. The first shot went wide. The second blew off its head from the neck up. I ran over to help Dad to his feet and we went over to where Lily was laying.
Lily still had her head, well at least most of it. There was a large claw mark that went from her left cheek to where a ear used to be. She was bleeding in so many places her suit was in shreds. Dad had to lead me through bandaging her wounds best I could. Usually you are not supposed to move a injured person until trained personnel gets there, but there was no help to call. We were all she had and we didn’t have time. More of those things were coming. We had to move her back to the shelter fast to get her to Mom.
Mom was a Veterinarian a long time ago. She gave up her practice when Courtney and I were born. She was waiting for us in the airlock. There was no time to decontaminate Lily needed help now. Dad was not looking good either. The slash wound on his chest was bleeding from all the running. Mom and Courtney worked on stabilizing Lily. I held pressure on Dads wound until Mom could look at him. It was a intense few hours. I have never seen Mom work so fast. Lily still moans in pain at night. It is all my fault she got hurt, I don’t think she will ever forgive me.
It has been raining ash for a few hours now. A thin layer is starting to cover the ground. Where is all it all coming from? The sky is still crimson even though it is noon .It’s eerie how quiet the world is outside. Only a few more hours until we can go back into the shelter where it is safe. Dad has been walking around the property setting up sensors to collect data. Lily went with him this time and I have door duty. Instead of the plasma gun we went out with the heavy firearms. Bullets take up a lot more space than las packs, but they pack a big punch. Dad set me up with the Barrett M95. It has a custom scope that can switch from day to night filters and even a powered heat sensor. The ammo for this thing was expensive; at least that is what Mom complained about. David, Lily and I were all a part of a local gun club for teenagers. Lily was voted the chapter head this year. David played it off like he wasn’t upset about not being picked. Anyone with a sister knows he was. To be fair Lily is amazing with both close and long range shooting. Courtney is part of the club to, but is not really interested in it .Dad has been checking in every couple of minutes to let me know where they are if I can’t see them. What was that noise………..
Having a slate tablet is nice. Finally I don’t have to knitted, sew or crochet everyday. My sisters and I take turns with the slate which is fair. Dad has been looking over the results from his test a lot. The daily routine of packing and working out has not changed, so we are still leaving the shelter in a few weeks maybe? Mom got the new radio working and most of what they are saying is not good. They keep talking about a cascade failure and people disappearing. It got bad enough that Mom turned it off. Mr. Robinson called reporting in on what is going on around him. Dad didn’t put on the headphones anymore. They talked for a long time about how they should be seeing more people and weren’t. The monsters we ran into where not the ones Mr.Robinson was talking about. Which is great because now I know there are more of them out there. Another reason not to leave the shelter. He finally closed with he got into contact with Fremont over at the cabin. Fremont is the tech guy I was talking about. I guess other families have been showing up talking about monsters to. I sure hope we don’t run into any if we do leave.
Courtney said I was shaking in my sleep last night she laid down next to me. I know both Courtney and I are getting older, but she is my twin having her close calms me down. Is it strange that my best friend is my twin sister? Dad said he has to take another round of readings to double check the first results. Depending on how the next set comes out we may be leaving a lot sooner than expected. Tomorrow I will be heading out of the shelter with Dad and Lily again. We went over the plans. This time we need to stay outside a lot longer to get better data. Mom was not happy at all about it. I am not looking forward to going out again. I gave Courtney my turn with the slate and worked on my knitting. I am starting to get used to not having a good night sleep.