One of our sentries, a man name Jeff Williamson, is dead.
Jeff was on the wall during the night, and as a small cluster of zombies wandered toward his position, he jumped over the side and went crazy. His partner, who asked not to be named, said that Jeff did this right in the middle of a sentence. One second they were standing there calm as can be, the next Jeff was gone before his partner even had a chance to stop him.
Jeff screamed as he cut down the first few zombies. His partner says that at no point did Jeff even try to keep from being bitten. He was apparently focused on killing, end of story.
I talk sometimes, especially recently, about the strains and stresses we have to put up with. You would think that after Will's betrayal and the occupation, we'd be able to deal with just about anything. After all, that's what happens in stories. People suffer, but they find the inner strength to deal with the horrid cards they're dealt, and they overcome. They live happily ever after, knowing that they've weathered the storm.
Real life isn't like that. When you face the things we face, sometimes there isn't any coming back. Not too long ago we lost another guard, who killed himself quietly. I don't think two people is a trend, but this worries me. We have to face some pretty hard truths nowadays. Sometimes when people break, there isn't any putting them back together.
I'm worried that food rationing has played a part in what Jeff did. Yesterday afternoon I had to put in my recommendation to the council that we cut back on how much we're eating. There is a lot of concern with the pest problem and the uncertainty of the weather. We're worried that food will start to run short before we can begin to harvest. So, it looks like we'll have to hedge our bets by saving as much of the staple foods that will last a long time as possible.
The news didn't make me very popular. A lot of folks were unhappy with it. A few despaired. No one wants to be told that their hard lives will be made even harder by a further reduction in rations that will make the already-pervasive hunger we feel a little worse.
When you're trying to plan for an entire community, these kinds of decisions have to be made. I didn't recommend it to the council lightly or without a lot of research and weighing of options. I also pushed very hard to have extra hunting teams sent out for game. If we have to cut back on dry staples, we can at least do what we can to bring in more meat, right?
It might have been that Jeff was simply going to lose it eventually, and this morning was his time to snap. It may have been caused by the realization that no matter how hard we work and how clever we may be, some periods are going to be tighter and harsher than others. Maybe Jeff felt like it was never going to get better around here. We'll never know.
It's my hope that others are dealing with the restrictions in a better way.